Walking trail project still a possibility
by James Phillips
Mar 02, 2011 | 2490 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Land adjacent to the walking trail in Dora is part of property the City of Sumiton has offered to buy. Sumiton hopes to expand the walking trail and connect it with a sidewalk project in the city. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Land adjacent to the walking trail in Dora is part of property the City of Sumiton has offered to buy. Sumiton hopes to expand the walking trail and connect it with a sidewalk project in the city. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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SUMITON — A proposed walking trail, which would link a similar trail in Dora to a sidewalk project in Sumiton, is still a possibility, but Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis said the window for the idea may be closing soon if an agreement over a piece of land can’t be reached with the City of Dora.

Sumiton has offered to buy abandoned railway property, adjacent to the Dora Walking Trail, but Dora officials have requested a 20-foot right of way for the Dora Utility Board.

“This piece of property only goes from the bridge down by the golf course to Bozeman’s store, and they shouldn’t have any reason for a right of way,” he said. “We are not comfortable with that stipulation. One utility can’t build in another city limit anyway.”

Ellis said a deal needs to be done soon, because Sumiton wants to tie the walking trail in with an upcoming sidewalk project.

“We’ve got to either get this property or not and move on from there,” he said. “We’ll have to be getting this in our plans if it’s going to be done.”

Alison Washington, a representative of the East Walker Chamber of Commerce, said she had been in talks with the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission about a possible meeting on the walking trail project. She spoke to members of the Sumiton City Council Tuesday morning and said she would speak before the Dora City Council Tuesday night.

“The Regional Planning Commission would like to meet with everyone involved with this project and help in any way they can,” she said. “If this happens, it would be a nine-mile track and would be a great draw to bring people to this area.”

Washington said the possibilities for the tack could include triathlons and bicycle rides.

“This would definitely be a great recreational item for east Walker County,” she said.

Ellis said he would welcome a meeting if the land sale can be accomplished.

“We’ve got what we consider to be a fair offer out there,” he said. “We are willing and able to purchase this property immediately. We just need Dora to sell it to us.”