Trail supporters back Woodstock
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
November 13, 2012 11:23 PM | 1831 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Several local trail enthusiasts came to Woodstock City Council’s Monday night meeting in support of the council’s unanimous decision to match up to $40,000 toward completion of the Taylor Randahl Memorial Bike Trails at Olde Rope Mill Park.

Interim Community Development Director Brian Stockton said the money, requested two months ago by Greenprints Alliance Chairman David Potts, will come from the city impact fee revenue fund.

“Trail development is an approved expenditure out of that fund,” Stockton said.

The land is being leased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and counts towards the acreage requirement of land in Woodstock’s impact fee ordinance, Stockton said.

The fund match will be given to a coordinated campaign by Woodstock’s chapter of Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and Greenprints Alliance to build the final 3.5-mile portion of the trail on the north side of Little River.

Stockton recognized the members of both organizations present at the meeting.

“They have spent over 4,000 volunteer hours maintaining and developing the trail system out there and we are averaging about 2,000 riders per month on the two trails,” Stockton said.

With the completion of the Fierce Loop, the bike trails at Olde Rope Mill Park will exceed the length of the trails at Blanket’s Creek, Stockton said.

Completed portions of the trails include the Explorer Trail, a 2.5-mile beginner trail, and the Avalanche Trail, a 6.25-mile intermediate trail.

Council Member Chris Casdia said he and his family love going out to the trails and think they are a great addition to the community.

“We have a ways to go, but this is a nice chunk,” Casdia said. “It really helps.”

SORBA Woodstock President Jay Wilkes said board members are ready to get started on the addition but are still in need of donations.

“We still have another $75,000 to raise to complete it all,” Wilkes said Tuesday. “We’re in the middle of working with Greenprints on our funding strategy.”

Wilkes, who announced the council’s decision on the group’s Facebook page Tuesday to several donation pledges, said a few businesses have already been in contact with him to make donations with some in the range of $10,000.

He said his group is ready to jump into a major donation campaign in attempt to get the trails completed before March 22, 2013, as the International Mountain Biking Association selected Woodstock as the host city for the 2013 Southern Mountain Bike Summit.

“With over 200 folks showing up in March, we’d like to have it done,” Wilkes said.

For those looking to give hands-on help, SORBA Woodstock is hosting its monthly trail building party this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Blankets Creek. Organizers urge participants to wear closed-toed shoes and bring water. Tools and lunch will be provided.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a request to purchase street lights for Ridgewalk Parkway and the relocation of Woodstock Parkway.

Estimated to cost $189,120, the lights will accompany the first and second phases of improvements to Ridgewalk Parkway as the road will be widened for improved access at the intersection of the new Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta and Ridge Trail.

Woodstock Parkway will be relocated to intersect with Ridgewalk Parkway to the right of the development and the original road will serve as an entrance to the outlet center.

City Manager Jeff Moon said the motion also called for the purchase of lights for phase three of the improvements to Ridgewalk Parkway for a total of $135,000. Moon said it costs the city less to order the street lights all at once, as they are all the same style.

Additionally, the council met in executive session to discuss real estate, litigation and personnel, but took no action upon returning. Council members Randy Brewer and Bud Leonard were absent.
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