Senate OKs Trails

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The Natchez Trails Project got Senate approval this week, leaving only a conference committee&8217;s final approval.

The U.S. Senate approved $500,000 for the Natchez Trails Project, Mayor Phillip West said Friday.

The House of Representatives already approved $650,000 for the project, West said.

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&8220;When you get to conference, that&8217;s 95 percent of where you want to be,&8221; West said. &8220;When it gets to conference, you&8217;re in good shape.&8221;

City Planner David Gardner said he had not seen the approval but was excited about it nonetheless. He said the city had asked for federal money to be used as a match toward other grants and professional fees.

&8220;If that&8217;s the way it&8217;s been approved, then that&8217;s absolutely fantastic,&8221; Gardner said.

&8220;It would be the missing piece for the trails.&8221;

Gardner said he was very pleased with the project&8217;s progress so far.

&8220;This is a completion of a step that was going to be a major hurdle,&8221; he said.

The project will include downtown walking tour trails and jogging, walking and biking trails along the riverfront.

West also said the Senate approved $1.5 million for the roads in Natchez.

The city had made requests for funds for particular areas, West said, but the Senate did not specify areas where the money will go.