Town Creek Trail Proposal Fails at BOE Meeting


It appears that it will be back to the drawing board on the Town Creek Trail for Scenic Dade Development.

At the Board of Education meeting on September 21, Jennifer Blair presented the proposed Town Creek Trail project to Dade County Board of Education members. Other members of Scenic Dade, including James Griffin and Peter Cervelli, attended the meeting as well.

Blair said the Town Creek Trail project had been shared with board members previously, but they had additional information and documents from the city attorney for Trenton to allow an easement through school system property for the trail. Blair explained that Georgia supports the walking trails and property owners that give easements for walking trails can not be held liable

Town Creek Trail would be an extension of the walking trail at Jenkins Park. Work has been done along the creek in the park to clean up the banks and shore them up where erosion was a problem. Unfortunately, the state of the rest of the areas along the creek toward Dade Elementary are in disrepair with areas of erosion that need to be strengthened, litter, glass, sharp metal pieces, broken fencing and downed power lines. Blair said not taking care of the issues is undermining the progress made at the park.

The proposed Town Creek Trail would start at Jenkins Park with the trail already in place, cross the road to follow the creek behind Citizen’s Bank and the county courts facility before crossing Wolverine drive and turning short of I-59 to circle behind Dade Elementary and connect to sidewalk on First Street. From there, walkers could go to the library, for coffee, to the post office, back to the park, or anywhere else along sidewalks in downtown Trenton. Areas for a pollinator meadow, art installations, and other items of interest could be added along the trail. Scenic Dade Development asked the school board to consider giving a temporary easement for staging of equipment and materials needed to create the trail and a permanent easement for the trail itself.

Blair addressed other potential concerns regarding the walking trail saying law enforcement already patrols the park area by foot and road patrol as well as walking the area behind the courts facility twice each night. Additionally Georgia law, in support of projects like the Town Creek Trail, says property owners who provide easements have no liability for public use of land. Scenic Dade has funding for the development of Town Creek Trail, so it will not be paid for at taxpayers’ expense.

Blair ended the presentation and asked if board members had any questions. There were none.

During Public Input, Ashleigh Garmany, a Trenton City resident and parent of children in Dade County schools voiced support of the Town Creek Trail project. Garmany said she felt the opportunity to add the walking trail to the City of Trenton would be tremendous and would provide benefits to the the community.

Later in the meeting after an Executive Session to discuss property and personnel, Dade Board of Education members returned to the public meeting. Board Chair Carolyn Bradford asked for a motion to surplus property to the City of Trenton to be used for Town Creek Trail. No motion was made so the motion failed.

In a statement provided by Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris on behalf of the board of education, board members said, “The Dade County Board of Education is not opposed to the project.  It just can’t happen on school property due to safety concerns for our boys and girls.”

One of the property owners along the proposed trail has signed an easement agreement and the second property owner is expected to do the same sometime soon, but a new plan for the trail will have to be made without the inclusion of school property. 

Videos of the presentation and full BOE meeting can be viewed below. 

Dade County Board of Education Meeting – September 2020

Dade County Board of Education Meeting – September 2020

Posted by KWN News Now on Monday, September 21, 2020

AFTER EXEC. SESSION – Dade County Board of Education Meeting – September 2020

AFTER EXEC. SESSION – Dade County Board of Education Meeting – September 2020

Posted by KWN News Now on Monday, September 21, 2020