Archer Lodge Exploring New Park Sites

Archer-Lodge-Council-FIBy Laura Crosio

Amid controversy over a deal to purchase land from one of their own council members, Archer Lodge leaders agreed to explore other options for a future park site.

Last June, the board approved paying Councilman Carton Vinson $450,000 to purchase 29 acres for a future town park and recreation center near Archer Lodge Middle School. It was part of a package deal that also included buying an additional 13 acres from Vinson’s neighbor, Iris Lusk, for $101,000. Both deals were cancelled by the town just weeks later due to legal issues.

Archer Lodge had been anticipating a $150,000 grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to assist in the land purchase but has since cancelled their application after voiding the deal with Vinson and Lusk.

At the September 14 meeting, Mayor Mike Gordon explained that the town wanted to move forward with exploring different parcels for the park and recreation site. Council approved the decision 3 to 1 with Mark Jackson casting the negative vote. Councilman Vinson was excused from the discussions.