Wallace said a number of proponents contacted her with unspecified offers of financial support for the proposed Redmond Trail. She’ll try to nail down amounts for the board’s Oct. 23 meeting.
“When we applied for the grant, the commissioners obviously thought it was important,” Wallace said.
The project, which dates back to 2007, would link downtown Rome and Summerville Park via a trail from the levee at Avenue A, along Little Dry Creek and past the post office. It’s also a step toward connecting to the inter-state Pinhoti Trail.
The county’s match would be about $150,000. County Manager Blaine Williams said work was put on hold because of the recession. But the Georgia Department of Transportation grant administrator now says there must be signs of progress by early November or the award could be revoked.
A $23,000 archeological and ecological assessment is needed and would count as progress. Commission Chairman Irwin Bagwell and Commissioner Garry Fricks, however, said the budget is too tight to commit to a project that lies within the Rome city limits.
“We’re not awash in cash,” Bagwell said. “If the city wants to pick this up, they need to pick it up now.”
Rome is tied up with its urban riverfront grant, Williams said, but would contribute $37,500 — half the engineering cost. Wallace said former mayor Wright Bagby Jr. told her several locals are prepared to help, as are the Rome Board of Realtors and the Heart of the Community Foundation.
Biking advocate Trey Smith and six other supporters also attended the County Commission’s meeting to urge action. Smith said more people don’t have cars and are dependent on sidewalks and trails for transportation to work, stores and services.
“Connectivity is a big part of this, and there’s the safety factor,” he said. “You need this study to keep that $400,000 from going down the tube. You guys have a responsibility to keep it alive.”
Commissioner John Mayes seconded Wallace’s motion to defer a decision on the study until the level of outside support is determined. All five members, including Commissioner Larry Maxey, agreed to the extension.
Link to the Rome-Floyd County Trails Plan with maps of existing and proposed routes