By Lisa Voyles
HOUSTON – After ten long years of planning and preparation, a grand opening date of Aug. 17 has been set for the Tanglefoot recreational trail.
Chickasaw Development Foundation Director Joyce East addressed the county board of supervisors July 1 with the news.
“It is exciting news,” East said. “Of course, it’s still a tenative date, but it looks like the contractor is finishing up.”
The Rails to Trail commitee is busy making plans for the grand opening which will involve seven towns along the 44-mile recreational facility.
Grand opening ceremonies will be held simultaneously in Houston and New Albany at 9 a.m. as both towns hold a gateway for the trail. A silver railroad spike will be carried through each town and community along the way in the fashion of the Olympic torch and will meet in Pontotoc around noon for the official grand opening of the entire trail.
The trail has designated whistle stops with comfort facilities located in Houlka, Algoma, Ecru and Ingomar.
East said the trail will open up business and recreation opportunities along its path.
“It’s such an enhancement for Chickasaw County,” East said.
Currently, the trail is closed and is still under the control of the contractor. Residents are asked to stay off the trail until the grand opening to avoid any liability issues.
East said the opening of the trail is a culmination of ten years of combined efforts from many different agencies, but it will be well worth it.
“Great things don’t happen overnight,” East said. “But we’re going to make this happen. We know how important it is.”
The board voted to donate $500 toward the expenses of the grand opening. East is currently developing the program for the event and more information will be published as it is made available.
In other matters, the board
* Moved to publish a notice that tax rolls are ready to examine and will be open to the public Aug. 5 and 6 at the Houston and Okolona Courthouses.
* Approved a training session with the state EMA committee for county EMA Director Linda Griffin
n Discussed an issue of non-compliance from inmates on the county work program. An inmate reportedly returned to the regional facility intoxicated after working in Okolona and has been sent back to Parchman. Supervisor Russell Brooks asked Warden Brand Huffman to set up a meeting with Okolona Mayor Louise Cole to reinforce that rules must be followed if the city is to receive services from inmates on the work detail.