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Forging Phase III of the trail

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Public meeting will give peek at next phase of Greenway Trail

By Lisa King

Parks officials are eagerly anticipating getting another phase of the Greenway Trail underway, with a public hearing coming Tuesday.

“Citizens of Shelbyville/Shelby County will be afforded the opportunity to express their views concerning the recreational needs of their community concerning this project [Phase III],” said Clay Cottongim, parks consultant.

The event will be an informal setting to encourage people to exchange ideas about what they would like to see with the Greenway Trail, he said.

“A forum for discussion will be held as a public hearing meeting for all that are interested in this project,” said Cottongim. “The parks board urges all to attend this public meeting for it helps with the grant scoring and application process.”

Cottongim said the meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Family Activity Center, would give details on Phase III of the Recreational Trails grant.

The Greenway Trail, in its entirety, will run from Stratton Bottom at Washington and 2nd streets to down 7th Street and north around the 21 acres of property donated for the project by Citizens Union Bank and extend to Lake Shelby.

Phase I, completed in 2016, runs from Stratton Bottom to 7th Street, and consists of a 10-foot wide concrete path stretching to the 7th Street Bridge for a distance of about a mile.

Phase II is an extension of Phase I, and starts at the 7th Street Bridge, running behind Calvary Cemetery and some donated private properties to connect to Lake Shelby.

Cottongim said that though funding for Phase II is already in place – coming from a $100,000 matching Recreational Trails Program grant with a big boost from two anonymous donors who gave $10,000 and $15,000 each– construction is not finished because of inclement weather.

“It if ever stops raining, we could get it completed,” he said.

Cottongim said that those who attend the meeting will be able to see a sketch of how the trail would look.

“I’ll have a diagram of where it’s going to run around the creek,” he said. “Basically what it’s going to be is an eight to ten foot wide trail.”

He said it’s hard to speculate on the length of the trail because there are still too many unknown factors.

“It depends on the money and how much funding we get and how far we get with this last phase [II], so it could be about a half mile to a mile,” he said. “It’s going to run from the end of Phase II on Seventh Street at the Seventh Street Bridge on around to Lake Shelby. This section will be down by the creek.”

He said he expects Phase III to cost about the same as Phase II, so the funding requirements are very similar.

“We need another $100,000 and we’ll match it with $100,000,” he said.

Cottongim said that even when Phase III is completed, it wouldn’t be the end of the long-range vision for the trail, which would then reverse directions to run back down the creek to Red Orchard Park.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting may still express their opinion by writing to the Recreational Trails Program and or the Land, Water Conservation Fund Program; Governor’s Office, Department for Local Government, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 340, Frankfort, Ky. 40601 within two weeks of the date of the meeting, said Cottongim.