Walking trail put on hold

Published 9:08 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Troy City Council has put a halt on its plans to construct a walking trail at the city’s Recreation Center, but its likely just a short delay.

After receiving a $100,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to build a 1.2-mile trail at the facility, bids for construction came back higher than expected.

The city received six bids and the lowest was for $182,000.

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Since the grant only will cover $100,000 of that project, Council President Johnny Witherington said in Tuesday’s council meeting, members will need more time to evaluate funds, especially since both Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and Councilwoman Wanda Moultry were absent.

“I’m not sure we realized the bids would come in as high, so we have to make sure we have funds to cover the excess costs beyond the bid amounts,” Witherington said.

“We have to make sure we have funds to cover our part.”

The 1.2-mile trail will extend an already in place natural walking trail that is about 1.5 miles in length, said Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith.

The council agreed to forward the project until its next meeting in July to make a decision on the plans.

The council also gave Lunsford approval to apply for a $500,000 Community Block Development Grant in hopes of repairing a sewer on Park Street.

If awarded, the city will have to match the project by 10 percent.

And before the meeting, council members met with Joyce Austin, a Troy resident who has been a key player in the city’s Bicentinial Park.

Austin came to the council, at the request of Councilman Charles Meeks, concerned a new fence has not been built at the park, though city officials have previously said it is something that will be done.

“This corner represents those who have paid the price for us,” Austin said.

“I know there are plenty of important things for the city to worry about, but we couldn’t have these pleasures if it wasn’t for these families who have sacrificed.”

Council members assured Austin all concerns dealing with the park will be met immediately.

The city council also awarded a liquor retail license to the Golden Crane, and approved a resolution to make documents or an interpreter available for the city’s community block development projects to those who do not speak English as their first language.