We are shocked to report that there is a proposal on the agenda at the Wake County Commissioner's Work Session on Monday, November 14 at 2pm that advocates for RDU Quarry. See agenda item #6 "Lease for 286 Property" to read the proposal or download the PDF.
The proposal recommends using money from Wake Stone's RDU Quarry lease with the Raleigh Durham Airport Authority (RDUAA) so Wake County can "pay" for bike trails on a 150 acre track called "286 East." The 286 property is managed by the RDUAA and is located adjacent to Umstead State Park and the Reedy Creek Multi-Use Trail / East Coast Greenway.
We're excited to see Wake County consider leasing 286 from RDUAA and think with it could become a world-class facility that would draw both local mountain bikers and the many that would travel to ride this beautiful area.
Our biggest concern is the details of the proposed lease, specifically relying on Wake Stone for a $360,000 contribution each year. Wake Stone has been denied their mining permit to expand their quarry to the Odd Fellows Tract (currently in the appeal process and other related legal actions are active in the courts).
By accepting a yearly contribution from Wake Stone, it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest as long as the RDU Quarry expansion is undecided. Accepting this money might infer future favoritism to Wake Stone and a really bad idea while litigation is going on.
The proposed lease also mentions a second partner contributing $350,000 each year. This partner is currently unnamed. This partner needs to be named so the public can also weigh in on that relationship.
While we are encouraged to see that Wake County is also preparing to renew the Lake Crabtree County Park Lease, we remain concerned about RDUAA's state desire to convert Lake Crabtree to Commercial development. We are hopeful Wake County will keep Lake Crabtree Mountain Bike/ped trails and RDUAA will not move forward with their office/hotel development plan for that area.
Overall, we think Wake County mountain bike trails on "286 East" is a good idea for RDU and Wake County, but ONLY if the proposal removes the Wake Stone contributions.
Please submit your comments by 2pm, November 14. Email the Wake County Commissioners, Wake County appointees to the RDUAA, and Wake County staff requesting that they:
You can also use this form contact the Wake County Commissioners.
The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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