Walking Trail

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2011

City seeks grant to fund solar-powered lights for park

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville city officials last week authorized application for a Mississippi Recreational Trails Program grant to pay for placement of solar-powered lights along the new walking trail at W. M. Trussell Park.

Construction of the walking trail was funded by a similar grant last year. The $100,000 grant is funded by 80 percent state funds with 20 percent matched by the city with local funds or in-kind services. Aldermen met briefly Wednesday, March 23, to consider the grant application in time to meet the program deadline. Aldermen Eddie Nabors, Stan Harrison, Bill Dugger and Ted Stewart voted to authorize City Parks and Recreation Director Robert Lightsey to initiate the application. Alderman Teddy Morrow was out of town.

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In another matter of public works recently before city officials, assistant City Engineer Lauralee Gann told aldermen at their March 15 meeting that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has received approval to advertise for bids for new traffic signals on Highway 6/278 at its intersections of Bates Street and Eureka Street. The signals are expected to be similar to the three signals recently installed on 6/278 at the Power Drive, Keating/Woodland Road and Highway 51 intersections.

Aldermen questioned Gann about turn lanes for eastbound and westbound traffic at the 6/278/Eureka intersection and at the Bates Street intersection.

“Are we going to get four turn lanes at Eureka and Six?” Alderman Stan Harrison asked. “We need left lane turn signals on Six. … If you want to make a left turn either way, you’re stuck,” he added.

“Will they have turn lanes at Bates?” Mayor Jerry Autrey asked.

“I will check that out with them and get back with y’all,” Gann said.

Gann reported a low bid by C and M Builders for $10,105 for lights on the interior portion of the downtown Square. The amount will be paid from the proceeds of a $50,000 grant the city received for the Square.

“This girl has worked double overtime to try to help us to get this Square looking nice,” Harrison said, referring to Gann.

Another grant-funded project nearing completion has planted almost 440 new trees in city parks and other city-owned property, Gann said.

“That was a good project,” the engineer said.

The city will also use a portion of an energy efficiency grant to replace leaking windows in the city hall building, City Clerk Laura Herron said.