Plan to get together to preserve Crooked Creek


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County commissioners say a plan is coming together to preserve land in the former Crooked Creek golf course near Fuquay-Varina after a new majority of commissioners voted last month to sell the land.

The proposal to transform the old golf course into a county park has become a source of controversy. The commissioners had been divided on the fact that the purchase of land was the best use of county money.

"It's become a political football, and it's not a good idea for Wake County," said Monica Nawojczyk, who lives near the golf course and supports the park.

The county commissioners voted 4-3 to buy the land for $ 4 million last year. After the elections last November, a new majority of commissioners voted in January to sell the land. Critics of the purchase, like Commissioner Greg Ford, said that money could have been better spent elsewhere.

The decision frustrated many in southern Wake County, which promised to continue fighting for the park.

Commissioner Matt Calabria says that since then the county staff members have been trying to find an alternative solution. On February 18, he told the commissioners' meeting that they plan to vote in favor of the county's personnel management to come up with an agreement that the county will transfer land to the city of Fuquay-Varina, which could eventually develop it as a park.

"The Commissioners listened to the voices of the members of the community on this, and I think they came together very quickly and realized that some compromise or a more considerate approach would be justified," said Calabria. He supported the initial purchase of the land.

The latest development was a welcome surprise for park supporters.

"It's an absolutely wonderful opportunity that we can now see some light at the end of the tunnel," said Sheree Ward. "We all really thought it would be a breeze, this is a good opportunity."

It is not clear how quickly the city would have acted on the proposal or developed the land.

"The city is open to considering a proposal, but no proposal has been received, and as such, there are no plans for the property," wrote Susan Weis, communications director of Fuquay-Varina in an e-mail.

Ford said it would support the proposal, calling it a "win-win" for the county.

"I am very encouraged by this motion and by the many positive outcomes it has for the use of property, and for current and future citizens who will benefit from its local use and control," he wrote on Facebook.

Ford told CBS 17 on Tuesday that someone recently sent a glitter bomb to his house, which his 8-year-old daughter opened and surprised.

The device included a message inviting the recipient to visit a website to see if the sender had left a note. The investigators said that they did it. They wrote, "Make better decisions next time."

Ford called it "unacceptable".

Eric Curry, a spokesman for the Wake County Sheriff's Office, said it was unclear what the sender intended. He said the district attorney's office ruled that the device was not intended to harm anyone, so no criminal charges will be filed.

Calabria added: "Actions such as engaging in remuneration against elected officials, to intimidate elected officials, or in any way invade the homes of elected officials are absolutely reprehensible".

Calabria said after Monday's vote that it anticipates an agreement that will be presented to the county commissioners within a few weeks.