Lake Gaston public access area in Brunswick County

The future public access area for Lake Gaston in Brunswick County is located on Poplar Creek at the intersection of Hendricks Mill Road and Herman Road. (Bobby Conner photo)

Dominion Energy provided the property.

LAWRENCEVILLE – The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to purchase property located on Herman Road that will be used as a Day Use Area on Lake Gaston. The revised purchase price is $437,500. Dominion Energy is providing all of the funds. Brunswick County will be responsible for maintaining the Day Use Area according to agreed guidelines.

According to information provided by County Administrator Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge, the county will purchase the property and the county will receive grant funds to be utilized to pay or reimburse the county for this purchase price, and to execute all agreements, instruments and other documents necessary or appropriate for closing on the purchase of the Herman Road property.

At the May meeting Dr. Woolridge said the day use area will be open to the public for fishing, boating and kayaking. Because of the depth of the drop off, swimming will not be allowed.

According to the agreement – Dominion Virginia Power’s Lake Gaston Recreation Access, the agreement entered into by Dominion Energy and Dominion Energy North Carolina, Brunswick County, Virginia; and the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR).

Whereas the Settlement Agreement (SA) article RC1 of the FERC Lake Gaston Roanoke Rapids Project License required Dominion to develop a recreation plan after consultation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR), the City of Roanoke Rapids (CRR), North Carolina, the Lake Gaston Association (LGA), and the Regional Partnership of Local Governments (RPLG) to identify appropriate sites for improved recreational access to the James River; and

Whereas Article 423 of the FERC Lake Gaston Roanoke Rapids Project License, as amended, and the 2002 Recreation Plan committed Dominion to provide funding for recreational access on Lake Gaston and set aside $472,000 for the purchase of land and the construction of a day use area for public recreation on Lake Gaston in Virginia (Day Use Area); and

Whereas, such funds are adjusted on an annual basis using the Consumer Price Index; and

Whereas, as of October 21, 2019, the value of Dominion’s commitment is approximately $681,270, and can be made available by March 30, 2020 for the purchase of a property on Lake Gaston; and

Whereas, these funds will be used for the purchase of land in Brunswick County that will be held and maintained by Brunswick County; and

Whereas, this agreement confirms the approval by VDCR for Dominion to transfer the funds directly to Brunswick County to be used for the purchase of the land for the Day Use Area on Lake Gaston once all due diligence has been completed according to the requirements of the Recreation Plan section 3.4.3; and

THEREFORE, Dominion and VDCR agree as follows:

1. Brunswick County agrees to acquire land and engineer, build and maintain the Day Use Area in a manner which provides the public free and safe recreational access to the waters Lake Gaston upon review and approval of VDCR and as specified in Article 423 of the FERC Lake Gaston Roanoke Rapids Project License, as amended, and the 2002 Recreation Plan;

2. Upon approval of all due diligence and verification of land purchase, Dominion will reimburse Brunswick County for the funds used for the purchase of the property including transaction costs for title insurance, reasonable attorneys' fees and other normal closing costs paid by Brunswick County, up to the amount of Dominion's commitment set forth in the recitals above;

3. Should any funds committed by Dominion as described above remain after reimbursement to Brunswick County for costs of the land purchase, the remaining funds shall be used for costs of the design and development of the Day Use Area as defined by Article 423 of the FERC Lake Gaston Roanoke Rapids Project License, as amended, and the 2002 Recreation Plan and Brunswick County shall be reimbursed by Dominion for such costs upon approval of the Day Use Area facility by VDCR;

4. In the event Brunswick County is unable to fulfill its design and development commitment under this Agreement, Brunswick County will transfer the land to another agreed upon non-commercial entity that will accept the responsibility to engineer, build and maintain the Day Use Area for public free and safe recreational access to the waters Lake Gaston upon review and approval of VDCR.

5. The VDCR acknowledges that the disbursement of the sum identified above and each Party agrees that the mutual obligations of the other Party under this MOA will terminate upon the full disbursement of the committed funds identified above.