Pelahatchie to add bike, walking trails - 11:31 AM - December , 2010
First, free Wi-Fi.
Then, historic preservation of downtown.
Pelahatchie's growing list of amenities continues to put the small eastern Rankin County town on the map.
Work is in progress on a 35-acre sports complex and a three-mile bike trail, both projects that Mayor Knox Ross hopes will enhance the quality of life.
"We don't want to stop the improvements planned for our town," Ross said, noting the troubled economy has caused him and other officials to be creative in how they spend the town's money.
They went on quests for grant money and issued $900,000 in bonds, which is paying for two major recreational projects. Both will attract young blood to the town, a task that Ross said is necessary for the survival of Pelahatchie.
Ross said the park, to be called Milltown, is in the design phase. It will have a lighted walking trail, baseball, softball, T-ball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a playground and an amphitheater.
"It's going to be a place where we can host events," Ross said.
It's expected to cost at least $700,000.
Also in the plans is an eight-lane track, which both of the town's high schools lack.
The park will be in walking distance of downtown, and unlike Muscadine Park. Dirt has been moved to the site from the Juvenile Justice Center, which the county is building in the town's industrial park.
A lake will be dug in the park, which will serve as another source of dirt for the fields, he said.
Meanwhile, the bike path will link the town with Jellystone Park, which sits on Pelahatchie Lake.
"All of our projects are ready to go," Ross said. "We're just waiting for the funding."
The plans of the bike path are awaiting approval of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
When the bike path is built, Brooks Street will be also be resurfaced. The bike path is expected to cost $1.2 million.
"Mayor Knox Ross has positioned Pelahatchie to take advantage of many opportunities," said Joy Foy, president of the Mississippi Development Authority's Asset Development Division.
"The Yogi Park makes a bike trail feasible, the bike trail will attract more people into Pelahatchie, which in turn will create a need for more restaurants and gift shops. Mayor Ross finds a way to make things happen instead of making excuses."
(From article in Rankin Ledger by Justin Fritscher)
Bold dates denote events.