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Wendell Begley Reappointed to N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority

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Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wendell Begley Reappointed to N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority

RALEIGH --Wendell Begley has been reappointed by Governor Mike Easley to a three-year term on the N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority. Begley, a Black Mountain businessman and member of the Buncombe County Board of Education, has served on the authority since 1998.

The 11-member authority is the governing body of the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The fund was established in 1994, and its programs are administered through the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The fund is supported by the state's tax on real estate deed transfers with revenues distributed to three programs: 65 percent to the state parks system for land acquisition and capital projects; 30 percent for matching grants to local parks and recreation programs; and five percent to coastal beach access projects.

"I've known Wendell as an ardent supporter of Mount Mitchell State Park since my time there as a ranger and superintendent in the 1970s," said Lewis Ledford, director of the division. "As a longtime authority member, his interest and support for all our state parks and local recreation opportunities has grown and become invaluable."

Begley is president and chief executive officer of Black Mountain Savings Bank and holds a bachelor's degree from King College in Bristol TN. He has served 21 years on the Buncombe County Board of Education and is a former chairman. He was presented the 2003 "Friend of Education Award" from the Buncombe County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators. He is chairman of the Swannanoa Valley Museum Board of Directors and a former director of the Asheville Area Arts Council.

Since its creation, the Parks and Recreation Authority has awarded 432 grants totaling $73.3 million to local governments for parks and recreation projects including land acquisition, facilities development and renovation of public park and recreation areas. Incorporated municipalities, counties and public authorities can apply for the matching grants of up to $500,000. (For a grant application and more information about the trust fund, go to . The deadline for the current cycle of grant applications is Jan. 31.)

The authority has also allocated more than $100 million for projects in the state parks system and more than $10 million to improve public beach access.

The Parks and Recreation Authority is appointed by the Governor and by the General Assembly upon recommendations of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. Current members are: Wendell Begley of Black Mountain; Harriot Farrior of Wallace; Eddie Holbrook of Shelby; Walt Israel of Belmont; Lisa Weston of Belmont; Ron Kincaid of Mount Gilead; Lydia Boesch of Pinehurst; Kenneth Sadler of Lewisville; Cynthia Tart of Oak Island; Timothy Aydlett of Hertford. Jonathan B. Howes of Chapel Hill serves as chairman.