Mattanock back on agenda

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Less than two months after shooting down a request from the Nansemond Indian tribe to turn over a small part of the tribe’s ancestral land at Lone Star Lakes Park, the Suffolk City Council will discuss the matter again tonight.

The agenda for council’s regular semi-monthly meeting includes both a closed-session discussion of Mattanock Town and a “Mattanock Town Update” by city staff members during open session later in the evening.

The Nansemond Indian Tribe hoped to receive part of its ancestral grounds at the city-owned Lone Star Lakes Park, and invest about $6 million into a tourist attraction there that would have been called Mattanock Town — named for the ancestral village. The development would have included an authentic re-creation of an American Indian village, along with powwow grounds, museum and tribal center.

The development originally was proposed to be 99 acres, but a more recent plan encompassed closer to 20 acres, the tribe’s attorney, Whitney Saunders, said in July.

Even that plan was not one that Suffolk could live with given the current economic situation, City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said in a July 13 letter to the tribe.

“Given NITA’s assessment of the current economic climate and the lack of available funding to support the proposed concept of the Mattanock Town Project, the City is not in a position to recommend disposition of the property as requested in your letter of June 9,” she wrote.

Council members also will get an update on the Nansemond Parkway widening project during their open session, which begins at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at 441 Market St.

A work session is scheduled for 5 p.m., at which time members will receive an update on the status of the fight to keep U.S. Joint Forces Command open. During the portion of that work session scheduled to be closed to the public, members also plan to discuss the disposition of the site of the former Obici Hospital and receive an update on the Southeastern Public Service Authority.