Forsyth County officials are considering a plan to buy land near Duke Energy's Belews Creek Steam Station. The property would be used for a new regional park.

Forsyth County Commissioners are looking over a proposal to purchase more than 200 acres on Belews Lake from the company. The price is around $640,000.

The plant is in Stokes County, but the public park would sit in a wooded area in Forsyth.

“It's an opportunity to preserve a pristine piece of land that fronts on a large lake in Forsyth County and make that available to more of our county residents,” says Deputy County Manager Damon Sanders-Pratt.

He says Duke Energy would retain the shore rights and boat ramps would not be permitted to be built in the park area.

Some residents have expressed environmental and health concerns over nearby coal ash ponds. Sanders-Pratt says local officials will assess the site before any final decisions are made.

“It appears that it has just been a stand of trees, so we are thinking contamination is not an issue,” he says. “However, we would do phase one environmental work just to confirm that there wouldn't be any environmental concerns with that property.”

Sanders-Pratt says city leaders would search for grant funding to help pay for the project.

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on approving a year long due diligence period for the project during its November 1st meeting. That process would also include public input meetings.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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