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City, county seek funds for new walking trail

Area walkers will have a new place to get their exercise shoulda joint project between the city, county and Pearl River BasinDevelopment District come about, officials said.

Officials are looking to create a new walking trail at the citypark on Hartman Street. The trail will be a minimum of a half amile and weave through trees and around the park.

“It’ll encircle the whole area,” said Terry Reid, BrookhavenRecreation Department director.

The trail would be funded on an 80 percent federal, 20 percentlocal basis through the Recreational Trails Program. Reid said thePearl River Basin Development District (PRBDD) would provide 10percent of the local match, with the city and county handling therest.

“We can get ours from in-kind labor and dirt work,” Reid said.”It really will cost us nothing.”

In January, the PRBDD board of directors approved Lincoln Countysupervisors’ and the city of Brookhaven’s request for developmentof a master plan for the walking trail. In addition to the masterplan, the district will help with the application for funds.

“We’ve done many of that type of project throughout thedistrict,” said Mike Davis, the district’s executivevice-president. “We feel confident we can get funding for theBrookhaven project as well.”

Davis said master plan development had been initiated. However,he did not have cost estimate yet on the trail project.

Davis said officials are waiting on funding applications to beavailable from the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries andParks., which is administering the program funds.

“We’re taking advantage for these federal funds while we can getit,” Davis said. “We’re looking forward to getting it for thepeople of Brookhaven and Lincoln County.”

Millard Smith, who along with Travis Tadlock represents LincolnCounty on the PRBDD board, said district officials recently visitedthe park and proposed trail site.

“They thought well of what they saw and the facilities that arealready there,” Smith said.

With the minimum half-mile requirement, Reid said the city parkwas the only place large enough to develop the trail.

Reid said the walking trail area would be lighted and landscapedto be esthetically pleasing. There will be stops along the way forwalkers to perform various exercises if they so desire.

“Each position will have an exercise you do,” Reid said.

Reid said the trail give park users other activities and thelights will help with security around the park. He was hopeful thatthe trail will be in place by the summer of 2005.

“I don’t see how it can be anything but good,” Reid said.