Press Release: Adam Gaub, Gaston County Communications
Gaston County will soon be offering new recreational amenities to its residents, thanks to a lease agreement between Duke Energy and the County.
The Gaston County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a lease agreement last Thursday night for the County to operate the 68-acre Southpoint Access recreation area.
The area contains a pair of boat ramps (managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission), two large fishing piers, a swimming beach, picnic pads, public parking and more.
In addition, the agreement calls for Duke Energy to build a canoe and kayak launch area, of which Gaston County will pay for a portion once completed.
There is also additional space for the development of future amenities.
Duke Energy invested $7 million into developing the Southpoint Access area and approached Gaston County in late 2022 with a proposal for County Parks & Recreation staff to manage the site.
What's next: As part of Thursday night’s vote, the Board approved an initial fee schedule for the access area, which will go into effect in the months ahead. Those fees will cover the upkeep and operation of the park.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for the County,” Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Hart said. “This provides us an extra park in a very busy and growing part of the county where land is difficult to come by right now.”
The bottom line: The addition of the Southpoint Access area addresses many of the desires residents shared during the survey work done as part of the ongoing Parks & Recreation Master Plan work.
“We have a unique and awesome opportunity,” said DeeDee Gillis, Chairwoman of the County’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. “This is located in an area we all know is booming. We are extremely excited about the possibilities.”