Resolution opens up trail opportunities for Vidalia

Published 11:10 pm Sunday, June 25, 2017


VIDALIA — Vidalia recently passed a resolution that would enable it to seek up to $100,000 for a connectivity trail throughout the town.

The resolution does not require the town to apply for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program, but enables officials to submit a grant request should the town come up with a plan for such a trail project. The grant would require a 20-percent match.

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Mayor Buz Craft said the grant would be for the town’s ongoing Azalea Trail project, which is an attempt to connect the town’s recreational areas, from the riverfront to the park at the municipal complex. The trail would be a walking/bicycle path that could be done in stages.

“What we are trying to do is investigate how we can do that,” Craft said. “People like to bike and walk, and that would be a pretty good walk.”

Options mentioned to get to the municipal complex include crossing the highway at one point or utilizing the levee, but both present potential dangers. Alderman Tron McCoy said at this point he saw no path to connect the Riverfront to the municipal complex without someone having to come through a hazardous area.

Craft said approving the resolution only opens to door to receiving funding if officials figure out a workable plan during this upcoming fiscal year.

“This would allow for funding so that if we do come up with something that could work, we could pursue it,” Craft said. “It is not putting us on the hook to do it.”

The Federal Trails Program was authorized for federal fiscal years 2016 to 2020.