SWANSBORO, ONSLOW COUNTY -

The town board of Swansboro agreed to apply for a grant to help purchase a waterfront park.

The town is looking to buy the Nancy Lee Fishing Center off Hwy 24 in Onslow County. The owner, Lee Manning, has owned the fishing charter for more than 15 years.  Manning said the town of Swansboro asked about the property as soon as it was on the market.

"They need to have this property instead of having buildings and high rises and all that kind of stuff. It will be much nicer for the town and the public to enjoy. There's not much property like this around anymore," Manning said.

The area has docks for boats, piers, and plenty of spaces to fish. Manning said it also has kayak and sandbar access areas.

"You can put in the kayaks and its deep along the shoreline where you can go out even on low tide, and go to the different islands," Manning said.

Swansboro Town Manager David Harvell said they only need one more grant to be able to purchase the park.

"This actually provides access for those who can't afford to live on the water, which is huge,"Harvell said.   

The town already has a grant for $306,450 from the state Division of Coastal Management.  Harvell said they are applying for a $463,295 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to help cover the rest of the cost.

"We'll be expending about $156,000. So, in essence the town will potentially acquire a piece of property that was appraised for a million dollars for 15% of the value," Harvell said.

The current proposed name for the park is "Sunset Park". Town officials will find out by August if they will receive the grant. If it is granted, they hope to buy the land by October.