The Town of Clayton last month bought a 7.5-acre parcel, a purchase that kills three birds with one stone, including the albatross of the Gordon tract.
For a second electrical system substation, Clayton paid $159,000 for a tract of land near the town’s greenway, south of the Neuse River. Town Manager Steve Biggs said the town chose the land because of its proximity to power lines and potential to create more park land.
It also creates a scenario where Clayton’s town limits are contiguous from the town center to the 177-home development known as the Gordon tract.
“That’s completely coincidental,” Biggs said.
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Clayton and Wilson’s Mills fought over the right to serve to the Gordon Tract for more than a year, holding up development in the meantime. At first, the Gordons chose Wilson’s Mills for the project, but then switched to Clayton. Without an annexation agreement, neither municipality could claim jurisdiction over the entire subdivision because portions of the property were closer to each.
Last month, the Clayton Town Council approved a modified plan from developers, a 29-home portion of the subdivision that’s inside Clayton’s planning jurisdiction. The county’s planning office would oversee the rest but would make sure the project adhered to Clayton’s development standards.
With this land purchase, and the eventual annexation of a mixed-use development on N.C. 42 East, the Gordon Tract is contiguous to the rest of Clayton’s town limits.
“The main driver for acquiring this property was to facilitate construction of the second electric substation,” Biggs said, downplaying the Gordon tract aspect.
Biggs said he recently met with the Local Government Commission’s financing department about the town’s $3.6 million substation project. Clayton began planning the substation before it and other public power towns sold their ownership stake in power plants to Duke Energy Progress. Biggs said Clayton needs the second substation to meet its growing electricity demands.
Biggs said construction on the substation should begin later this year.
The Clayton greenway passes through the newly acquired property, which Biggs said should enable the town to further develop its park land in the area.
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdjackson