The Mobile City Council delayed a vote on a series of contracts that will begin the first phase of work on a Three Mile Creek biking and walking trail.
Councilors appeared to be supportive of the work, but by council rules all new items that are not routine are held over for one week.
The work on the nearly one-mile stretch of the trail, from the east side of Tricentennial Park to West Ridge Road, will cost roughly $1.2 million to complete. The work will include engineering and design, as well as construction on the first segment, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Capps said.
The work would include installation of a 10-foot sidewalk for walking, hiking and biking, as well as solar lighting and benches, Capps said. The installation of a kayak launch at the park would also be included.
The project will be paid for through a variety of grants and expenditures. The first portion of the trail will rely on a $105,000 Community Development Block Grant, a $386,525 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs with a equal local match, $204,951 from a “local foundation” and $514,284 in capital improvement plan, or CIP funds.
Contracts for the work will make up part of the expenditures. Those items include: a $447,647 performance contract with James H. Adams & Son Construction Company and a $40,000 contract with Dorsey & Dorsey, which will serve as project manager.
The council is expected to vote next week on the ADECA grant and the contracts for the project.
Councilman Levon Manzie said he is in support of the project, but openly hoped the administration could continue to find grant funding for the project in the future. He noted the bulk of the expenditure for the first phase came from citywide CIP funds.
“We have pressing other needs … ,” Manzie said. “I don’t know how long the appetite for it will continue.”
He reiterated he supports the project overall.
“I’m not against it,” Manzie said. “I’m for this trail.”
Capps told Manzie the administration would continue to look for grants, but once the contracts for construction are approved it would make getting grants for the project easier.
The city hopes to extend the trail 12 miles, from about a mile east of Tricentennial Park to just west of Langan Park.
Councilman Fred Richardson said the beginning of this project helps realize a dream he had for Three Mile Creek when he first took office in 1997.
“My dream for what Three Mile Creek could be is coming true before my eyes,” Richardson said during the council’s announcement period at the end of the agenda. “This is exciting.”
Council President Gina Gregory echoed Richardson’s comments.
“The greenway is very exciting,” Gregory said. “I can’t wait to see this project completed.”
In other business, the city’s zoning consultants presented a draft future land use map and major streets plan to councilors Tuesday. Mark White, of White & Smith LLC., described the new documents as guidelines for future zoning ordinances to follow. He said the document falls in line with the Map For Mobile comprehensive plan framework, which has already been approved by the Planning Commission and council.
The city’s current land use document was drafted as part of a comprehensive plan created in 1998. White described the current plan as “very broad,” with three basic land-use classifications, including residential, commercial and industrial.
The plan proposed by the consultants has a total of 12 land-use categories, including two for residential and two for industrial, White said. The plan also calls for a number of commercial categories, as well as a parks category and a waterfront category, which would provide rules for waterfront access, he said.
The major streets map, which has been in use since 1968, was also updated. White said the new plan would include a new classification system. He said some street have been declassified, while others have been added due to population shifts.
The plans will be presented in depth to residents on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium of Government Street Baptist Church. After the presentation, residents will be able to give input on the draft plans, Executive Director of Build Mobile Shayla Beaco said.
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