East is the Executive Director of Chickasaw Development Foundation/Historic Houston Main Street Association and has worked closely with organizers on the trail development since its inception.
“This has been a seven-year journey,” East told supervisors. “But something this nice doesn’t happen overnight.”
The 44-mile trail will begin in Houston and travel north through Chickasaw, Pontotoc and Union counties, ending in New Albany. The route is expected to draw tourism from bicycle groups and exercise enthusiasts.
The trail had an expected open date in January of this year, but weather conditions prevented completion of paving the portion coming into Houston. The paving and opening are expected to take place this summer.
“I am passionate about our rails to trails, our Tanglefoot Trail,” East said. “We are so close to being finished. It is so wonderful to be able to partner with Pontotoc and Union counties to offer recreational amenities and it will definitely be and economic tool.”
The final paving will take in an eight-mile stretch coming into Houston from the north. Paving is already completed from New Albany through Houlka toward Houston.
The trail is not yet open to the public and residents are asked to stay off the trail until the formal opening. Currently, the trail is under the liability of the contractor, Glasgow Construction in Alabama. It it illegal to use the Tanglefoot Trail until it has been completed and formally opened to the public.
The board heard from Zora Cousins regarding road repairs in the eastern part of the county. Cousins thanked the board for recent repairs on CR 436 but also requested repairs for CR 169.
Board president Anderson McFarland said the supervisors are under budget constraints but still have the original request on a “to-do” list and will make the repairs as soon as is financially possible.
The board also continued an ongoing discussion n planned repairs to CR 405 and 408 with Road Manager Kenneth Funderburk advising the board that certain culverts will need to be replaced before any construction begins so as not to have to “tear up the road again,” after construction is completed.
Funderburk and County Engineer Ed Springer received approval to examine the culverts to determine which would need to be replaced.
In other matters, the board
• Heard a report from Funderburk on replacing piling on a bridge on CR 52
• Is preparing to advertise for a motor grader
• Heard a request from Justice Court Judge Garry Turner asking for additional security at the courthouse during court sessions. The board advised closing off all but one entry door to the facility and utilizing the security scanner already in place. EMA Director Linda Griffin offered to consult surrounding counties about their security measures.
* Heard a report from Ricko Nichols on City of Houston sewer repairs that affect county property. Nichols advised the board that a project in the center of town from Pearson’s Drugstore to Regions Bank will affect the courthouse. Nichols also joined in discussion with Springer and Warden Brand Huffman about potential ways to increase water pressure at the Regional Correctional Facility located in Industrial Park.