Revised plan allows trails to move forward

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By Dave Taylor

The Carroll County Park to Park Trails Committee Tuesday approved  resubmitting a revised scope of work and budget for the initial phase of developing a comprehensive land and water trails greenway/blueway project in Carroll County.

The committee, in conjunction with the Nashville Tenn. consulting firm Lose and Associates Inc., has been working for several months to develop the project.

“We will submit this to the Department of Local Government as soon as we have in writing from the Department of Parks their decision on the soft trail,” Joan Moore, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation, said.

The scope of the multiple phase project is to construct 5.5 miles of paved, soft and blueway (water) trails to link with 18 miles of continuous trails in Carroll County, utlimately connecting Point Park, General Butler State Resort Park and the Robert Westrick Memorial Park via recreational trails. The trails would be available for use as walking, hiking, long distance backpacking and canoeing. The land trail will total 14 miles. There will be four miles of water trails.

The revised budget projected a total cost of Phase I at $171,132, which is a little more than $40,000 in excess of funds currently available.

Broken down the budget includes $70,640 for an eight-foot wide paved trail running 4,280 linear feet from the county park to a new soft trail at General Butler State Resort Park. Another $60,000 is projected to provide 3,000 linear feet of timber guardrail to separate the trail from Jay Louden Road as the trail runs parallel to that roadway. Other construction costs include $2,500 for pipe rail, a crosswalk and striping at the CSX Railroad crossing on Jay Louden Road.

Other budgeted items include $2,200 for trail signage and brochures, $3,170 to develop 2,300 linear feet of a six-foot wide soft trail in the state park and $32,622 in engineering and design costs, fees, permits and other contingencies.

“We are hopeful that, considering that this small stretch of park land is in the watershed and otherwise unable to be developed for anything but a rough trail, that Parks will agree to a deed restriction allowing that trail to be a trail ‘in perpetuity,’ ” Moore said. “That soft trail is a crucial piece of our project, as it is a connector link not only to all seven miles of state resort park trails but also to the 5.5 miles of county park trails.”

On May 13, 2009, Gov. Steve Beshear, in conjunction with the Recreational Trails Advisory Board, announced $1.3 million for 31 Recreational Trails Program grants to assist communities statewide in developing and maintaining recreational trails. The announcement included $65,500 in federal grant money to launch the Carroll County project. Local matching funds and/or in-kind donations of labor or materials have been committed for more than a year bringing the total funds currently available for the project to $131,000.

“Fiscal Court has committed $41,956 from the general fund, and $7,200 from the forest account,” according to Moore. “The remaining $24,000 is either money or in-kind donations of labor or materials that have been committed, all by local agencies.”

Efforts to secure the funds for the project began in November 2008, with the county’s Recreational Trails Committee.

The committee looked at some areas of the budget that could be cut, including lessening the number of feet of timber guardrail railing and areas along Jay Louden Road that would not require new paving for the trail, which could trim about $20,000 from the cost, according to committee co-chair Evelyn Welch.

“It’s not going to be a pathway with a railing all the way down that right side” of the roadway, Welch said. “There are 14 areas where there are driveways along that road.”

“I wouldn’t get too hung up on the numbers,” Michael Pavin, landscaping architect with Lose and Associates Inc., said. “There’s a lot of work to be done and once we do an actual set of engineering drawings that could change the cost numbers a lot. There are areas we can work with.”

    Phase II of the project will include upgrades to the current natural canoe launch and river access on the Kentucky River near Lock No. 1, a trailhead facility, a parking lot, riverbank stabilization, fencing, trail restoration and authorizations from the Kentucky River Authority.
At this time, the committee is investigating grant opportunities for Phase II.
Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson has been looking into seeking federal funding to stabilize an eroded area where the trail is projected to be routed. A federal “Watershed” project through the Natural Resources Conservation Service was made available to local governments in 2009 to assist with installation of emergency watershed protection measures. So far, Carroll County has been able to qualify for about $2-million to repair and clean out numerous creekbeds and protect adjoining roadways in the county through the program, Tomlinson said.

“Hopefully we can work this into the watershed project to stabilize the bank right above the locks,” Tomlinson told committee members. “The old Lock Road roadbed has eroded there—in the last year it’s unbelievable how much that has slipped and fell in. That will have to go through the highway department because that (roadbed) is their easement through there. I’m trying to address that with the state highway department as well as having the federal watershed folks come in and do some kind of cost estimate and see if we can’t get that funded.”