James City County to decide on funds for purchase of historic Jamestown property
Date: December 9, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Horne, Manager, James City County Development Management
(757) 253-6874 firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Clark, Director of Public Affairs, The Trust for Public Land
(347) 675-5824 email@example.com
Debi Osborne, Senior Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land
(202) 262-8993, debi.Osborne@tpl.org
The James City County Board of Supervisors will decide at their meeting on December 13 if they will allocate $2.9 million for the purchase of the 198-acre Jamestown Campsites and Basin properties on the James River and Powhatan Creek in Jamestown. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) has a contract to purchase the properties and has been working with the County and other partners to secure funds for the $12.5 million purchase. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at 101-F Mounts Bay Road. The meeting will also be broadcast live on JCC TV48.
If approved, the County funds will be used to make a deposit on the property, a major step that buys an additional year in the agreement to raise the remaining funds for the purchase. Under the terms of the agreement, TPL has until the end of this month to show substantial committed funds and demonstrate the ability to raise approximately $12.5 million in public and private funds in order to purchase the 198 acres by December 2006. To date, TPL and the County have secured $2 million in federal funds through NOAA, $3 million from the state budget through the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and $750,000 from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund. TPL has also deposited $100,000 of its own funds.
Michael J. Brown, Chairman of the James City County Board of Supervisors stated, "This purchase supports our commitment set forth in our Comprehensive and Strategic Management Plans to steward the natural environment and historic heritage in James City County. We are pleased to work with our partners in this endeavor."
"This is a very significant step in the protection of this property," said Debi Osborne, senior project manager for the Trust for Public Land. Osborne has been negotiating with the Vermillion family for the purchase.
The land is a high priority for protection because of its prominent location, important historic resources and irreplaceable recreation opportunities and has been a longtime focus of James City County, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and the National Park Service.
The available land is highly developable, and its protection is important to maintain the integrity of Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, and the Jamestown 2007 commemoration being planned on and near the site for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. The proposed purchase will protect the site planned for Anniversary Park, the centerpiece of the events being planned for the Jamestown 2007 commemoration.
The Jamestown Campsites tract is a private campground with frontage on the James River. The site was part of the Revolutionary War Battle of Green Spring, where troops torched the plantation of Sir William Berkeley, Royal governor of the Virginia colony. The Jamestown Yacht BasinMarina serves as an important public amenity on Powhatan Creek, providing boating access to the James River and water tours ofJamestown Island. Acquisition of the marina property will protect on-site and nearby historic and archaeological resources and ensure public access to the James River, as well as conserve 65 acres of marshland.
The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than two million acres of land in 46 states, including more than 16,000 acres in Virginia.
For more information, contact John Horne, JCC Development Management at (757) 253-6874 or visit www.jccEgov.com or www.tpl.org.