Local leaders joining Natural Bridge park push, brokers reveal m - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Local leaders joining Natural Bridge park push, brokers reveal more about sale

Posted: Updated:
ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VA -

Since Natural Bridge was put up for sale back in May, support has been mounting for the privately owned landmark to become a state or national park.  Thursday, the Lexington City Council is expected to pass a resolution backing that push.

The vote comes just weeks after the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors adopted a nearly identical resolution.  Both localities say their primary interest in the sale of Natural Bridge is to ensure public access to it continues long after it's sold.

Each of their resolutions calls Natural Bridge a "source of pride and honor" and note its historical significance and economic importance to the region.

Roanoke based Woltz & Associates has been hired by the owner to market and sell the property.  The company's President / Owner Jim Woltz says his client also has great interest in Natural Bridge becoming a designated park.  He tells WSLS 10 he visited Washington DC in June to meet with and make a presentation to the National Park Service.  He says he's also engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the Virginia State Parks system.

The 1,600-plus acre property will be sold at an auction in November.  Woltz says the land is currently being surveyed and will be divided up into approximately 30 plots to attract buyers with different interests (hotel operations, conservation, business development, etc.) to the opportunities it provides.

He says as they're dividing up the plots, they're paying close attention to which areas of the property would be most important to the park systems.  Woltz believes the most likely path to park status would involve a private individual or entity purchasing the land then donating it to a park system -- and says he's aggressively seeking groups or people interested in making that happen.

Rockbridge County leaders have hinted they're leaving open the possibility of offering incentives to a potential buyer.  In an email, County Administrator Spencer Suter wrote "as evidenced by the content of the resolution, the Board is keen on protecting The Bridge for enjoyment of the public in perpetuity.  At this time, no specific incentives have been discussed or offered."

The National Park Service recently announced it would study the feasibility of adding Natural Bridge to its system, provided no taxpayer dollars are used to purchase the Bridge and a conservation easement would be placed on some of the property around it.  The study is in response to a request made by Congressman Bob Goodlatte's office.

 

 

  • Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems

    Despite good news, benefit programs face problems

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:36 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:36:53 GMT
    Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges...
    Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward...
  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:09 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:09:15 GMT
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.