County wins bidding war for Jonathan Creek land

Haywood County has emerged as the high bidder for 22-acre tract of land in Jonathan Creek that will become a recreation park.

The county’s bid of $1,114,029.15 was not upset. For the last two months the county and a private bidder had been both trying to buy the land., each making subsequent bids that drove up the price of the land.

The county will contribute $1 million of the final bid, while the town of Maggie Valley pledged the rest and has promised to provide sewer service to the property.

Haywood County will pay for the entire tract, and Maggie Valley will reimburse the county over a 15-year period. The town and county have committed to use the property for a recreation complex only.

The county will close on the property Aug. 30. It’s not known yet when the county will start the development process. Commissioners Mary Ann Enloe and Skeeter Curtis continued to express reservations about the cost of developing the land at an Aug. 20 meeting.

“I have serious reservations about the cost of this and still do ... but I’m a great believer in recreation and collaborative efforts,” Enloe said.

Curtis said the county has other priorities to fund before it can put money into developing the property.

— By Julia Merchant

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