Grant would help fund development of Mounds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

Grant would help fund development of Mounds

By John Howell
Batesville is applying for a $100,000 grant through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to develop the Harmon Mounds with a trail, parking area and interpretive features to improve visitor access and appreciation for the site.
City Engineer Blake Mendrop said Tuesday that the Mississippi Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) has approved a rail crossing that would allow vehicle access from Highway 35.
“MDOT says it’s okay,” Mendrop said. The next step is to get permission from Iowa Pacific Railroad for the crossing.
The engineer estimated the development would cost up to $175,000. The grant requires 20 percent matching city funds or in-kind work.
“You’ve used this in the past; they like y’all; you’ve maintained your parks and your trails,” Mendrop said, referring to earlier MDWFP grant-funded projects in the city, including the construction of the Trussell Park Walking Trail. “Bonus points (in the grant application) go for regional and national significance, so y’all will have a regional significance being on the Mounds Trail,” Mendrop said.
The Harmon Mounds or Batesville Mounds were approved to be included on the Mississippi Mounds Trail last year. MDOT constructed a paved roadside parking area on Highway 35 to allow motorists room to pull off the highway, view the site and a roadside marker that has not yet been delivered.
The city acquired the 90-acre site between Highway 35 and the Tallahatchie River early last year. Archeologists have estimated that the site was peopled by pre-Columbian Indians between 400 B.C. to 1,000 A.D.

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