May 9, 2007 EditionAlso in this issue...
Rail-Trail receives $40,000 grant
Rail-Trail Committee Chair Lewis Slaughter (far right) leads a meeting of the committee on Thursday afternoon, following an announcement that the project has received a $40,000 grant. Committee members listening include (from left) Brett Cooper, Craig Stone and Michelle Rogers.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt
The Lawrence County Rail-Trail Committee received some good news when it met on Thursday. The committee was told that the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is awarding a $40,000 grant for development of the trail.
Preliminary plans call for paving approximately one mile of the trail using the grant money. The section to be paved runs from the trail head in Hoxie and ends near the Northeast Arkansas Educational Cooperative in Walnut Ridge.
The grant is a non-matching gift, which means Lawrence County will not have to supply matching money. Committee Chair Lewis Slaughter said there has been a lot of work done by a lot of individuals to get the project to its current status.
"I want to thank the whole committee for their efforts," he said.
He also said there were a few he wanted to recognize for their efforts to help the project receive the grant funding.
He said Portia Mayor Dale Freeman was who told him about the grant possibility in the first place.
"He took a day and went to Little Rock with me," Slaughter said. "We met Rep. J.R. Rogers there and spent the good part of a day with the director of parks and tourism. They really helped with this grant."
Slaughter said Lee Turnbull also deserves praise for the grant proposal presentation he did in Little Rock.
"He did an excellent job," Slaughter said.
The trail master plan calls for the eventual paving of the entire 6.7 mile stretch as grant funds are made available, and a park is to be developed at the Hoxie trail head. Additionally, the committee has discussed seeking local sponsorships for landscaping sections of the trail.
The trail runs along an abandoned railroad spur. Its extends from the BNSF rail line in Hoxie through Walnut Ridge and eventually terminates near the airport industrial park and College City.
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