New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | August 19, 2022

New Kent enters sales agreement to purchase Makemie Woods for $1 million

By Robb Johnson | July 12, 2022 6:58 pm

An area of land located in the Barhamsville section of New Kent County that had been the center of much debate for its use may now be in the hand of the county itself.

New Kent supervisors unanimously approved to enter into a sales agreement for the purchase of Makemie Woods in the amount of $1 million during Monday evening’s regular board meeting.

Beginning in 2012, there were concerns on how the area that has hosted several camps and retreats would be used after facing financial difficulties. In the past year, interest in Makemie Woods garnered attention from Travis Hall and his Faith Recovery program that plan that focused on drug rehabilitation. But with concerns about the lack of accountability and possible impact on small businesses, county leaders voted 4-1 to deny the construction of the facility during their May 2022 meeting.

On Monday, supervisors entered into a closed session and emerged a half-hour later on the approval to purchase the 274 acres of land from the Presbyterian of Eastern Virginia, Inc.

New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway spoke about the process of entering the agreement, stating while nothing is official, the ramifications could be greatly beneficial to the county.

“Our goal is to increase recreational opportunities in the county, and we believe this is important to achieve our quality-of-life goals,” Hathaway said in a Tuesday afternoon interview. “For the county, it’s part of our strategic plan to identify more recreational opportunities, especially in the eastern portion of the county.”

The county administrator continued, saying the expected boom in population in the next decade would warrant the additional recreational locations. Hathaway concluded that he hopes to work with the state to convert the area into a state park, but no commitments have been made as of this time.

The county has a 90-day window to complete the transaction and purchase of the property.