Johnston County Buys 77 Acres In Cleveland Community For Recreational Use

$1.6 Million Land Purchase Approved By Commissioners

Johnston County Commissioners have agreed to purchase a 77 acre tract of land in the Cleveland community for recreational use. The land is at the intersection of Matthews Road and Polenta Road. The $1.6 million purchase was unanimously approved by the board during their July 6th meeting.

Adrian O’Neal, Parks, Greenways and Open-Space Coordinator for the County of Johnston told Commissioners it was a great opportunity to purchase the land.  The County will apply for one state and one federal grant that could reimburse the County from $500,000 to $1 million of the purchase cost.

O’Neal said there are no plans for any county facilities on the property at this point, however a master plan with citizen input will be discussed sometime in the future.  “It will mostly likely be a phased development. To develop it all at one time would be difficult,” O’Neal said.  “Some of the possibilities include walking trails, picnic areas, and ballfields.”

The Greater Cleveland Athletic Association has agreed to manage the property for now, with no management cost or expenses to Johnston County.  They will use the site for athletic fields.  “It’s a great property. It can easily be used for football and soccer fields without much work.  They hope to put it in use within the next year,” O’Neal said.

Commissioner Patrick Harris said it was important to preserve open space for the quality of life.  Commissioner Tony Braswell made the motion to purchase the 77 acre tract. Commissioner Harris seconded the motion which was approve unanimously.

“The Board of County Commissioners’ purchase and preservation of this property is the result of a collaborative effort between the Board, the original landowners, Cleveland area community leaders and County staff. We would also like to thank our State Legislative Delegation for appropriating community revitalization funds in 2018 to assist with things like community feedback initiatives,” said Johnston County Manager Rick Hester.  “This is an exciting step for Johnston County.  The Board of Commissioners looks forward to more partnerships and projects like this – on a countywide basis.”