Council looking at cross country, walking tracks

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 2/8/18

The Jasper City Council is making plans to help with a regulation cross country track for Jasper High School and a walking track for Maddox Intermediate School, after requests came in for help from both schools.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Council looking at cross country, walking tracks

Posted

The Jasper City Council is making plans to help with a regulation cross country track for Jasper High School and a walking track for Maddox Intermediate School, after requests came in for help from both schools.

At the council’s work session on Friday, City Engineer Joe Matthews said Maddox had asked for assistance to build a walking track similar to the one the city helped with at T.R. Simmons Elementary School. The city would cut it out and put stone in it.

The 660-foot track would involve the city offering labor and material, each valued at $6,000 for a total value of $12,000. A five- or six-man crew would work two weeks on the project to do the in-kind work, Matthews said. “Half would be in-kind and half would be material, because they have a grant for $10,000 to pave it, which is the same that T.R. Simmons did,” he said, noting the T.R. Simmons facility is well used.

“It is going to go down in that open area near the pedestrian bridge,” between their parking lot in front of their entrance and Town Creek, he said, adding it would be open to the public.

Mayor David O’Mary said he thinks the city can make that work, noting later he probably will use some discretionary funding for that, as well as the cross country trail for the high school. He also talked about using reserve funds, although he said he would want to talk to City Clerk Kathy Chambless, who was absent from the work session that day.

“I like the projects. It wouldn’t derail the city if we did it,” he said.

Council member Willie Moore said parents are also trying to raise double the money the city is putting in for the cross country track. “They want it to be real nice,” he said.

The proposed cross country track would be a replacement facility that would allow some meets to be held in Jasper, instead of parents always having to go out of town, officials said. An earlier cross country track behind T.R. Simmons, which was once an Eagle Scout project, was essentially destroyed due to a new road that had to take its place.

Matthews said he and City Planner Keith Pike met with school officials and boosters about a 3.1-mile regulation dirt cross country track.

“We think the cost in-kind will be $15,000, which is 25 days of a four-man crew working out there,” Matthews said. The city work will take 25 days of work, and a few pipes would also be laid.

Pipes would cost $4,500 and the material would cost $10,000.

The facility will be laid out “in a manner that is not terribly difficult, in trying to get as many hills out of it and make it a reasonable flat track,” he said. “About 1 mile of it is on grass areas already there.” 

Matthews said if the work is done, it needs to be done quickly while the leaves are still gone. The work would need to be done quickly, and it would be easier to do all the work at once instead of stopping and starting.

“If we are going to do that, we need to move ahead and try to do it now,” he said.

Matthews said the cross country tack would be considered “bare bones,” and the school and others would eventually add things like benches.

He also said the community would also be able to use the track, and many would likely use it to be able to stay off the roads.

Matthews told the council, “If you would advise the mayor, we’ll try to schedule it and try to get started as soon as we can.”