10/19/04 — City moves to buy land near base

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City moves to buy land near base

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on October 19, 2004 2:01 PM

The Goldsboro City Council picked two land appraisers and passed a budget amendment Monday as part of the effort to protect land surrounding Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

A $1.7 million grant, designed to restore acres of wetlands and protect the base from development, was approved in July by the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund's board of trustees.

The entire project is $2.3 million with the city and county providing a $600,000 match.

The watershed improvement project will protect about 500 acres along Stoney and Walnut creeks in the Neuse River Basin near Seymour Johnson. Designated areas are along U.S. 70 East adjacent to the base and in the Genoa area on the southern end of the runway. The project involves buying 31 parcels from 25 landowners.

The land is also in the Accident Potential Zone beyond the runway. Development in the zone could threaten the base's ability to perform its mission.

Monday's action by the council was the next step in the process.

The project has been divided into two phases, with the Coastal Land Trust working on some of the wetland issues.

The city approved paying the remaining $35,000 to the Coastal Land Trust to cover the costs for Phase 1, and appropriated $43,000 for Phase 2.

Rasberry and Associates Inc. were chosen as the primary land appraiser for the first seven parcels of land. Wayne Appraisal Services Inc. was chosen as the second appraiser, necessary when appraising properties over $250,000.

The companies were evaluated based on five critical elements including: firm capacity and staffing, firm information and performance, expertise, experience including client references and cost.