Meridian Star

March 12, 2014

Grants could fund more walkways

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Terri Ferguson Smith

    County officials are applying for two grants that could provide more walking areas.

Kawana McCary, of the East Central Planning and Development District, said the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors is in the process of applying for a Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks grant that could provide up to $100,000 to extend a walking trail at Q.V. Sykes Park.

    It's an 80/20 grant, which means the county would have to provide 20 percent of the cost in matching funds. There is a half-mile walking trail already there. The next phase would lengthen it to about a mile, McCary said.

    "It loops back behind the football field," she said. "This would take it around the pond."

    There is not yet a design for the project or a cost estimate. The board earlier this month just took the first steps in applying for the grant, she said.

    The county applied for another grant last month — a Mississippi Department of Transportation 80/20 grant for a $635,000 walkway near Sowashee Creek.

    In describing the project, McCary wrote: "Lauderdale County proposes to construct a multi-use trail along the north side of Sowashee Creek from 29th Avenue tying into an existing trail at St. John Street to 22nd Avenue and along the south side of the Sowashee Creek to Grand Avenue.

    "This trail will be approximately 1.7 miles long and approximately eight feet wide. When connected to the St. John trail it would be trail along the creek."

    Unlike a grant for a walking trail, this particular MDOT grant requires that the walkway be a means for getting from one location to another, McCary said.