Rec trail project on hold

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 16, 2008

The City of Troy is seeking to revise its plan to build a state funded walking trail at the recreation center amid concerns about the current proposed location.

The Troy Recreation Department was notified in February that the city had been awarded a $100,000 recreation trail grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

It was the city’s third attempt at applying for the grant over the past three years, said Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith.

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But recently, city official realized the grant funding was awarded to the earliest walking trail design submitted in 2005, which called for a quarter-mile, oval shaped track to be built on the empty lot adjacent the recreation center parking lot.

City officials now want to see the trail built elsewhere in order to keep that lot open for future construction.

“We don’t want to tie up the last prime piece of real estate out there,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

Lunsford said the state grant would require the walking trail to remain for at least 40 years, prohibiting future expansion of facilities on the lot.

Smith met with ADECA officials on Thursday and is hopeful the plan can be revised without forfeiting the grant.

“We are very excited that they may allow us to improvise the design so that we can go with a more appealing and interesting trail,” he said.

Smith hopes to build a trail more like the final design submitted to ADECA — the one that city leaders thought was being funded when the grant was awarded earlier this year. That trail would wind through the Sportsplex property and into wooded areas, the first part of a three-phase trail plan.

“We think that design would be more appealing and more in the style that a recreation trail should be,” Smith said.

For now, plans to build any walking trials are on hold until ADECA approves a change in the design.

Smith said a walking trail is something he has long hoped to add to the city’s reaction opportunities.

“People are looking for opportunities for outdoor exercise,” he said.