Montevallo could lose trail grant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Montevallo could lose a $64,000 grant to build a two-mile nature trail connecting the city&8217;s two main parks, according to city officials.

The mayor and city council have been unable to contact State Senator Roger Smitherman for an easement to run the trail about 2,000 feet along the back and side of the senator&8217;s property.

The trail would run along Shoal Creek from downtown Orr Park to Stephens Park on Shelby County 10, running beside the University of Montevallo baseball field and University Lake before crossing UM&8217;s golf course which borders and is slightly on part of Smitherman&8217;s property.

Attempts to reach Smitherman were unsuccessful but he has said in the past that having a nature trail along the border of his land could hurt his property value and even be a liability if anyone was injured.

Montevallo Mayor Sharon Anderson worries the city might lose the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs funding if the city reroutes the trail to avoid slicing across Smitherman&8217;s land.

The mayor and city council discussed how to keep the grant money at their July 19 meeting. Anderson told the council that a survey did show that parts of the trail on the golf course were on Smitherman property and that ADECA had requested information to release funds for reimbursement.

The council and mayor discussed rerouting the trail, but Anderson cautioned that alternating the trail too much could cost the city the grant.

&8220;It&8217;s a good thing for Montevallo. I hope it happens,&8221; said Anderson, on the rerouting process. &8220;If it doesn&8217;t we&8217;ll just apply again.&8221;

City Council Member Hollie Cost said that the city could probably change the trail as filed with ADECA, as long as it still connects the two parks.

&8220;I see no reason why it wouldn&8217;t pass,&8221; said Cost.