A Public Input Meeting was held on Monday, March 22 at 5:30 at Old Fort Town Hall. McDowell County Planner Blair Melton presented the PARTF Grant Application process and Amenities that will be included at the FFST Trailhead and Park. The meeting was in person and via Zoom. All attendees (including the Mayor and Aldermen) supported the park as presented and recognized what it will bring to the community.
The presentation came after months of meetings with a steering committee made up of community members. The members suggested amenities and pick a design that will benefit citizens, appeal to tourists and capitalize on all the trails in area – the FFST, Catawba Falls and those from The G5 Trail Collective.
In addition to the public presentation, Blair presented to McDowell Trails Association, People on the Move Old Fort and the Community Forum. Rotary Club of Marion is next on the tour.
Officials also met with people involved with Davidson’s Fort – which is right beside the park property – to gain their support.
The PARTF application is not due May 3. However, Blair Melton submitted the application early for the review and feedback period. The request will be for $325,000 from the state with a local match of $325,000 (McDowell County, Old Fort, Private Donor, MTA). Amenities will include a dog park, paved 0.25 mile section of Fonta Flora State Trail, restrooms, parking and more.
Destination by Design was hired by The Town of Old Fort and the McDowell Tourism Development Authority for the new Old Fort FFST Trailhead and Park.