Onancock Council Accepts Donation of Parcels From Former Carnival Grounds

Town of Onancock welcome sign. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

By Carol Vaughn —

The Onancock Town Council in a virtual meeting Monday, Dec. 21, approved a resolution accepting a donation to the town of around 6.123 acres of land made by Carnival Grounds Development, LLC.
John Custis, the registered agent for the limited liability company, who recently submitted his resignation as Onancock town attorney, called recent developments related to the former Onancock fireman’s carnival grounds “an extremely exciting event.”
“We had been working for quite a while now with the fire department to attempt to secure the sale of the carnival grounds,” he said.
A group of investors and a builder were found “that are very excited to get started very shortly on building some single-family homes over there,” Custis said.
The homes will result in an increased tax base and water and sewer payments for the town, he said.
The donated land is two parcels at the back part of the property.
“Hats off to the fire department for being creative. They deserve a lot of credit for this being donated to the town,” Custis said.
“I think it’s going to be a really big plus for the town,” said Councilwoman Maphis Oswald, adding the property “will be an asset that is going to serve us a long time down the road.”
According to a deed dated Dec. 15 and recorded in the Accomack County Clerk of Circuit Court office, Beach Transformations, Inc., with an Ocean City, Md., address, purchased five parcels at the former carnival grounds from Carnival Grounds Development, LLC, for $212,500.
Town Manager Matt Spuck said officials have discussed putting a dog park on the donated property.
The council voted to appoint Rachel Kellam as town attorney, replacing Custis.
Custis served as the town’s part-time attorney for ten years, according to his Sept. 23 resignation letter.
“While practicing law and serving my clients on the Shore will always be my full-time profession, I am now involved in a number of exciting economic development ventures on both Maryland and Virginia’s Eastern Shore that are in various stages of completion,” Custis wrote, adding that over the past year or so he has had “several partners wish to explore the greater Onancock area in hopes of seeking such opportunities.”
He is stepping down as town attorney “so that there is absolutely no perceived conflict of interest on any future endeavors within the Town limits,” he wrote.
Spuck said the town hall was closed to the public until after New Year’s due to an employee having been exposed to COVID-19 outside the work setting.
“The rule is, basically, if we can work remotely, we will. The phones are being answered; somebody is in the office. If somebody needs something, we’re just simply going to take care of them without opening the door,” he said.

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