The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 28, 2007

Commission to hire landscape architect to complete Rails-to-Trails path with a flourish

By Karen Middleton

A 20-year Rails-to-Trails project is culminating with flourish.

On Monday, the Limestone County Commission will approve an agreement with Birmingham landscape architectural firm Dale Fritz & Associates to design plantings and layout for both ends of the trail—Piney Chapel to the south and Veto to the north.

County Commission Chairman David Seibert said Wednesday in a commission work session the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, which is administering a $248,000 federal grant, requires the hiring of an architect to finish the project. The work includes constructing restrooms, parking lot, pavilion and storage shed at Piney Chapel and restoring an old church, building restrooms and landscaping on the Veto end.

County Parks and Recreation Board member Richard Martin said a portion of the trail from Piney Chapel to Hays Mill would also be resurfaced with a “crushed run” material such as that on the Athens High School walking trail.

“Work on the church is going on right now,” said Martin. “We’re putting in new windows and going the Mennonites for lumber. We will be putting up a split-rail fence around the property and signage to include historic photos of Veto.”

Martin said the recently designated bike trail through the county also passes by the Veto site.

Other business

These items of business will also be included on the agenda when the County Commission meets in regular session Monday at 10 a.m. at the Clinton Street Courthouse Annex:

• Memorandum of understanding between the North Central Substance Abuse Council and County Commission to receive $250 per month for the Community Corrections Program. Seibert said new program Director George Craig had secured he funding.

• Purchase of uniforms and printing for the Sheriff’s Department.

• Hiring engineering assistant/election specialist.

• Merit increase for Kevin Hammond, herbicide sprayer.

• Approval of these subdivisions: McCulley Mill, Phase 1, final; Colin Sherbert, preliminary and final; and Browns Crossing, final.

• Approval for closing the Clinton Street and Washington Street annexes on from 12-1 p.m. Dec. 20 for employees’ Christmas dinner.

• Closing of county offices on Dec. 24.