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Commission recommends plan to connect trails


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The Roswell Parks and Recreation Commission voted Monday to endorse connecting two of the city’s trails via an old runway at the Old Municipal Airport. The city council’s General Services Committee will consider its own recommendation when it meets Wednesday afternoon.

The unanimous vote from the commission favors connecting the Spring River Recreation Trail and the outer loop of the trail at Cielo Grande Recreation Area by using an old east-to-west runway of the city’s old airport.

At Cielo Grande, the connecting trail would start on the southwest portion of the trail, follow the runway west to Sycamore Avenue and then turn southeast to West Eight Street.

It would meet up with the dead-end of the trail on the J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center, which winds through the sanctuary and connects with the Spring River Trail.

That option — one of four — was also favored by the Spring River Corridor Foundation, said foundation member Bob Edwards.

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Another option was to have the connecting trail follow the runway for a shorter distance and cross Eighth Street where there is an access road to a maintenance yard in the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River, then follow Eighth Street to the bird sanctuary trail.

“We don’t think that one’s viable because you’re walking with traffic and you never see people coming,” Edwards said. There is also no existing sidewalk there, Commission Chair JaneAnn Oldrup said.

Commission member Kim Elliott said he favored the Sycamore option, noting it could offer future options for extending a trail to the north toward College Boulevard.

Two other options — using the alley between Wyoming Avenue and the golf course, or constructing a sidewalk on Montana from Eighth Street to Cahoon Park — received little discussion.

Edwards said the foundation plans to contribute funds to help construct the connecting path, but wants to see the project move along. The foundation has been working with the city for several years on connecting the trails.

“We don’t want to tie up funds. I made the rather disparaging and yet true comment that every time we get close, the city said let’s move the goalposts back,” Edwards said.

“We need to establish something. We don’t want to set money aside for an indefinite period to time. Either let’s do it or not and move on,” he said.

The commission members also discussed agreements with Roswell Independent School District for mutual use of each entity’s sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts.

“A lot of people want us to redo the basketball or tennis courts,” Jim Burress, special services director for the city, said. Renovating the courts would mean shutting them down for a time, he said.

“In the past, we’ve had agreements with the school district that we could use theirs. I don’t know if that’s still valid,” he said. Burress said he and staff in the city clerk’s office have been searching but have not found any agreements yet.

Elliott, who was the city’s parks and recreation director from 1982 to 2012, said any such agreements predate his time with the city.

He said he believed there was one agreement that allowed mutual use of the district’s high school tennis courts.

“The agreement was written such that it did not need to be renewed, if I remember right,” he said. “When the time came up to look at renewing those, we were told from city hall that was not necessary to renew them because they would continue on.”

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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