LAKE WYLIE — The Allison Creek Access Area on Lake Wylie may soon have the some of the amenities that its neighbors, the Buster Boyd Access Area in Lake Wylie and Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill, offer..
The York County Council has approved a proposal to design amenities at Allison Creek Access Area. Property owner Duke Energy will build improvements as part of the companys Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to produce power along the Catawba River. The county will maintain it.
Being considered are a beach area with lifeguard station and a restroom facility; primitive camping for up to 20 sites, possibly with a bathhouse; playground equipment; canoe/kayak launch; beach volleyball; basketball courts and disc golf.
Also proposed are a gatehouse/fee station, ranger station and equipment storage shed.
Many of the improvements, including the beach area, have to go into the design process, County Manager Jim Baker said. Including them now, he said, doesnt mean they will happen.
I wish we didnt have to make that commitment today in terms of design, he said, but unless this is approved as part of the (federal) permitting, we wont be able to do that.
Charlotte-based HadenStanziale is doing the landscape, engineering and architectural designs. Construction drawings should be complete by the end of the year. The plan must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The county will pay for design work, planning and permitting that could cost up to $18,500, and architectural fees that could run close to $62,000.
County Council Chairman Britt Blackwell said its worth supporting the plan because York County ranks among the lowest in county park space in South Carolina.
Were not doing that well, he said of county-owned parks. Weve got to consider the quality of life, too.
County Councilman David Bowman didnt support the move. He said problems at Ebenezer Park, the only other facility in York County to have a beach and similar amenities being discussed for Allison Creek, means it cant sustain itself .
I just feel like this is outside the boundaries of what we need to be doing, Bowman said. He said his main concern is the county would be have to maintain whatever is built.
This really starts us down a road of having another park, Bowman said. I know the one weve got now, Ebenezer Park, is being run as well as it can be, but Im just not sure I want to commit county citizens to maintaining and operating a park.
Ebenezer Parks inability to pay for itself through fees, Councilman Bruce Henderson said, might not be a bad sign for Allison Creek. It also could be a learning experience.
At least with this we can start out on a good leg to begin with, he said, and we can actually make it at least close to sustainable from the beginning.