from Council Meeting 10/27/14...
Trails Concept Advances
October 28, 2014
The city of Chillicothe will move forward exploring plans to convert the old abandoned shortline railroad that runs from Chillicothe to Sumner to a trail open to the public. City Administrator Ike Holland, during the regular city council meeting Monday evening at City Hall, asked council members for a
consensus to move forward on the project. The council unanimously authorized the administrator to pursue the rails to trails project and look into developing a committee to oversee the project. Holland stated that he has traveled the trail and said that 99 percent of the trail is passable, and that a good portion of it has been maintained by farmers and/or hunters. Areas that would need significant repair, however, would be bridges. Around $10,000 has already been pledged by local community foundations for development of the trail and additional donations would likely be made if the trail project advances. Members of the Green Hills Trail Association were present at Monday
night's meeting to voice support of the project and offer assistance. The trail could start off as a primitive trail and span just a portion of the route between Chillicothe and Sumner, and later be lengthened with added improvements, Holland said. Tom Ashbrook, who is a member of the
city's railroad advisory board, the Green Hills Trail Association, and community foundations, told council members that a trail would be not only a destination, but would add to the quality of life for people, especially young people, who choose to live in Chillicothe.
"We have an asset we need to utilize," he said. Terry Rumery, the
city's contracted economic developer, stated the trail would help promote economic development. It was also noted that grant money would likely be available for the project.
in Funds for Rails to Trails Project
Brittany Tutt, CT
October 6, 2014
Rails to Trails project, a plan to convert a portion of the former
railroad tracks near Chillicothe into a walking and biking trail,
received a $5,000 gift recently from the Jenkins Foundation to
help the project along. This $5,000 contribution will be added to
the $5,000 donation made by the Roger Browning Foundation several
to City Administrator Ike Holland, the Rails to Trails program has
been around for about 20 years. The program pulls up abandoned
railroad tracks and turns that space into walking and biking
trails and can also be a good way to connect cities. According to
Holland, the city of Chillicothe purchased 30 miles of railroad
tracks south of Chillicothe about 10 years ago. Instead of the
tracks sitting there abandoned, the city decided to provide
citizens with nice trails.
project is still in the beginning stages and will take several
years to complete. The budget has not yet been drawn up or
approved, so where the donation will go has not yet been
specifically determined. Holland said he and Street Superintendent
Barry Arthur will soon go out to the trails and start estimating
costs. There are bridges that need to be covered, entry and exit
points that need to be created, parking areas and much bulldozing
needed. Holland said they will likely ask their inmate crew to
help with the cleanup of the area to save money.
hopes to get started on the project before it gets too cold.
However, he said more will be done in the spring and fall next
year (2015). No motor vehicles will be allowed. The trails will be
used for hiking, biking, and possibly horseback riding.