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Cherokee Village applies for wildlife walking trail grant

Saturday, November 5, 2011

(Photo)
Glenn Harris, with Cherokee Planning and Zoning, makes a presentation to City Council Oct. 20 outlining plans for a grant the city will apply for through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. If the city receives the grant, a paved and wheelchair accessible three-quarter-mile walking trail will be built on city property near Hospital Drive. Photo/Tammy Curtis
A new walking trail could be on the horizon for Cherokee Village. Glenn Harris, with Cherokee Planning and Zoning made a presentation to the city council Oct.20 seeking itsapproval to apply for a grant to fully fund a wheelchair assessible wildlife walking trail.

Harris explained the grant is made available through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This is a new grant program that is a cooperative effort between the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's Outdoor Recreation Grants Program.

The Game and Fish Commission says the objective of the Wildlife Observation Trail Grant Program is to provide grants to construct, enhance, extend or renovate trails and support facilities that provide enhanced opportunities for the enjoyment and observation of Arkansas's wildlife by the general public. Projects eligible to be funded by the program are: new trails, renovations of existing trails, extensions or relocations of existing trails with a commitment to open the trails to public use, and are specifically designed to encourage and enhance the ability of the general public to observe wildlife. Trails funded by this program may be either terrestrial or water trails.

The grant program will spend $1 million on various trails throughout the state, with 80 percent of the money available to cities and counties and 20 percent being made available for trails at the state level.

Harris said Cherokee Village will be applying for the maximum amount of $100,000 with no match requirements for the city.

The requirements include the city must own the property for the trail. The city owns 36.82 acres and will utilize 30 acres near Hospital Drive for the project.

The city will be required to maintain the trail for 10 years. Harris explained the city will utilize community service workers for maintenance and upkeep on the paved trail. Although little mowing will be required because the trail will be located in a wooded area to maintain the wildlife habitat, occasional weed eating, as well as trash pickup, will be required.

The city will also need the support of local government and civic organizations. Harris said the Boy Scouts and Master Gardeners would be able to utilize the trail for projects, as well as the schools, as it will include an amphitheatre for interpretive programs.

The gated, paved trail will be approximately three quarters of a mile long and will be wheelchair assessible. Some local nursing homes have also taken an interest in the proposed project for residents to enjoy.

The natural habitat houses many varieties of wildlife and birds.

Council voted to accept the resolution to allow Harris to apply for the grant on behalf of the city. Alderman Tom Thone voted against the proposal.

The grant will be awarded in April 2012. If the city receives the grant, there will be no cost to the city, other than labor for the trail clearing which can be done by the city's street department.


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It seems to me that this city has its priorities in the wrong place. We just voted a 1 percent sales tax because the city needed the money for fire and police department even though the fire department is financed thru the SID.They are also currently working on a 4 1/2 percent franchise tax to be collected from the water department. Folks that is 5 1/2 percent tax we were not paying last year!! Now they say the only cost to the city for this walking trail would be the labor to clear the trails. Be not deceived!! After the initial building of this trail the taxpayers will be responsible for its upkeep for years to come! I am broke. I needed a Cost of Living Increase from Social Security for the past two years but did not get it. Therefore, I tightened my belt and stopped buying ice cream and other things I wanted rather than needed!! Cherokee Village always seems to speak out both sides of their mouth!! Last year it was a Soccer Field (For a retirement community). Now a walking park. There are plenty of walking spots already available for free - i.e., the new Hudson Memorial Building by the high school! The city needs to be working on an Rainy Day fund (Reserve Fund) and realistic budget based on real numbers and not expected numbers. The city currently bases its budget on what it expects to receive from SID and not from the actual numbers it does receive.

-- Posted by caregvr on Sat, Nov 5, 2011, at 12:21 PM

totally agree with cargvr.....our roads are falling apart and do people really walk anywhere anymore !!!!! another double speak for CV...hope to be moving back to Fulton county !!!!!!

-- Posted by keborne on Sun, Nov 6, 2011, at 6:52 AM

"They are also currently working on a 4 1/2 percent franchise tax to be collected from the water department"

The water department is separate from the City of Cherokee Village.

"Now they say the only cost to the city for this walking trail would be the labor to clear the trails. Be not deceived!! After the initial building of this trail the taxpayers will be responsible for its upkeep for years to come! I am broke"

Prisoners/ community service will be maitaining a "Nature trail".

"I needed a Cost of Living Increase from Social Security for the past two years but did not get it. "

I believe it is sceduled for this year, 3.06%.

Last year it was a Soccer Field (For a retirement community). Now a walking park."

Not everyone here is retired or wants to drive to a gym.

"It seems to me that this city has its priorities in the wrong place. We just voted a 1 percent sales tax because the city needed the money"

Cherokee Village is the only ciy in the area that doesn't have a sales tax. 1%- really, it should have been inacted when the city was incorporated. SID also supports the Street department, 13% of the reveunes for the street department and 13% for the fire department.

And yes, the City needs to support it's departments as administration and not the other way around.

-- Posted by not2day on Mon, Nov 7, 2011, at 3:21 PM

You are correct the the Water Department is separate from the city and that is why the water department refused to collect the tax for the city----because they are not part of the city!!

The walking trail will be at the old hospital site and most people in Cherokee Village will still have to drive to the walking trail! So whats the difference, drive to the gym or drive to the walking trail.

Prisoners and community services will keep the trash picked up, but if the amphitheatre suffers damage in ice or wind storm or when the trails need to be repaved then it will become the financial responsibility of the city, i.e. taxpayers.

Remember, there is no FREE lunch!!

-- Posted by caregvr on Mon, Nov 7, 2011, at 6:57 PM


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