The town is moving ahead with a plan to use the more than $800,000 budgeted for the third phase of Knightdale Station Park on a permanent stage.
The stage will be built in the grassy amphitheater area of the park opposite the shelters there. The town originally had planned to build an ornamental water tower sign at the entrance, but the council’s finance committee began in spring discussing the possibility of switching out the tower for the stage, to make putting on large events at the park easier.
The committee decided at its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 23, to notify the council that it had decided to pursue construction of the permanent stage, and no council members raised any objections.
“It would be nice,” committee co-chairman Pete Mangum said, “if the finance committee could make a recommendation now that we go forward with the design and build of the stage in the amphitheater area – an informative thing, because there’s no reason to vote on it; the money’s already been appropriated.”
Mangum also said the town’s auditor is in favor of going ahead with the permanent stage.
“I’m on board with moving forward with the stage,” Mayor James Roberson said. “I know we’ve been talking about having a nice stage, and if we’re going to continue to offer programs and services at Knightdale Station Park it’s only fitting that we move forward with this particular item.”
The town recently purchased a portable stage for smaller events, but for larger gatherings like the July 4th celebration and the new K-Fest education-themed festival it has had to rent a larger stage.
The town had $927,402 budgeted for fiscal year 2016-17 for phase III of the park. It has used $16,528 for engineering and design and plans to spend an estimated $20,000 for a misting station near the playground and $30,000 for demolition of two houses on the property and associated costs. That would leave an estimated $860,874 to complete phase III, which Mangum said he expects to happen by the end of the fiscal year.
Even with some shifting of the numbers possible, the committee expects to have at least $850,000 left, Mangum said.
As work on designing the stage moves forward, he said, the town will be able to determine if the stage should be built all at once or in phases.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826