Friends of Crystal Lake group being formed

Upon completion of the new bridge and widening of Lady’s Island Drive the contractors presently using the former Butler Marine building on Lady’s Drive as a headquarters and laydown area will vacate the property and move to their next project.  At that point, the question of “what next” for the Crystal Lake property will arise.
The 25 acres of property surrounding the 6 acre lake was purchased for the county as part of the Rural and Critical Land Program and can only be used for a passive park (no athletic fields). Beaufort County has completed a preliminary engineering study of the area to determine what types of use the land can realistically support.  Various organizations have developed conceptual drawings of how the property might be developed.  The next step is a full engineering study to include defining the property which meets the criteria of protected “wetlands”.  Such a study is not cheap and County Council must authorize the expenditure of funds for this purpose.  Upon completion of the engineering study the County Development Review Team can approve plans for development of the park. How the actual development of the park is to be accomplished, in this tough economic time, is a question yet to be resolved.
Dick Stewart, who purchased the lake and graciously gave it to the county, recently held a meeting of individuals interested in the lake and encouraged the formation of a “Friends of Crystal Lake” organization to act as a centralized representative for the community. Frank Gibson, owner of Lowcountry Insurance Services and Peggy Allard, retired Navy Captain and former head of the U. S. Naval Hospital in Charleston have agreed to co-chair the organizational phase of the forming of a “Friends of Crystal Lake“. The objective is to have such an organization in being by March 2012 and be prepared to represent the community during the development phase of the park.

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