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Eagles Beak bigger than bargained
Site along Etowah River has 23 more acres
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Forsyth County News
It appears Forsyth County got more than it bargained for in a recent land deal.

Prior to the closing date on county-purchased property along the Etowah River, surveyors learned of an extra 23 acres not accounted for in the original $5.5 million contract.

The county commission on March 19 voted 5-0 to buy 202 acres in northwestern Forsyth County known as the Eagle’s Beak. The purchase was part of the $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond.

The contract was finalized Tuesday following a 60-day due diligence period, during which the county could have gotten out of the deal and forfeited $15,000 in earnest money.

Following the discovery that there was actually 225 acres, commissioners and property owners went back and forth on a price for the additional land.

Landowners offered to sell the extra 23 acres to the county at $100,000, or about $4,348 per acre.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the commission was “comfortable with that amount,” and the deal was finalized at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said the difference was discovered when surveyors studied the property.

“It just turned out that the final property wasn’t what the original contract was issued on, in terms of acreage,” Laughinghouse said.

He added that the “bond money is in the bank” for the added price, which comes out of the green space bond voters approved last year.

The acquisition of the Eagle’s Beak property was the fifth purchase of land by the county from the bond referendum.

The commission has previously spent:

• $8.9 million for the 186-acre Wallace Tatum tract in northwestern Forsyth

• $8.5 million on the 63-acre Harrison property in south Forsyth

• $5.1 million on the 43-acre Buice property in south Forsyth

• $5 million for the 100-acre McClure property, also in south Forsyth.

About $1 million, separate from the $36 million earmarked for green space, likely could go toward development of the Eagle’s Beak property.

That separate funding, which involves the Etowah Blueway, is listed in the $100 million parks bond list of projects.

E-mail Frank Reddy at