Setzer optimistic about state park in Catawba County

N.C. Rep. Mitchell Setzer (center) talks with Catawba County commissioners Randy Isenhower and Sherry Buter at the Newton Library on Friday.  

North Carolina Rep. Mitchell Setzer said Friday he believes pending legislation that could pave the way for a state park in Catawba County could soon pass the North Carolina General Assembly.

“You can never promise anything … but I think it will (pass),” Setzer said.

Earlier this year, two bills — Senate Bill 380 and House Bill 532 — that would add new trails to the state trail system were introduced.

A provision in each of the bills would direct the Division of Parks and Recreation to study the possibility of adding Hickory into the state trail system.

Each of the bills has passed its respective house. Setzer was a sponsor of the bill in the House while N.C. Sen. Andy Wells was a sponsor of the Senate bill.

Earlier this month, Wells said the legislation is a major step in giving the parks division authority to own and manage land in Catawba County.

The House version of the bill was advanced by the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on Thursday.

Setzer spoke positively about the impact a state park could have in the county.

“It’s something that would benefit everyone and I think, after everybody was brought on board, it’ll be a good conclusion,” Setzer said.

Setzer made the comments at the Day in the District Legislative Day Friday at the Catawba County Library in Newton.

The purpose of the meeting was to allow community members to interact with one another and to showcase the things the library does for the community, Catawba County Library Director Suzanne White said.

The gathering was informal, with government leaders walking around and talking to one another and to community members.

In addition to Setzer, Catawba County commissioners Randy Isenhower, Barbara Beatty, Kitty Barnes and Sherry Butler were also present for the event.

Isenhower said the county is in the midst of working through its strategic plan, with a particular focusing on assessing needs related to EMS and water and sewer infrastructure.

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Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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