Grants head to Georgia counties

Grants head to Georgia counties

May 30th, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

DALTON, Ga. - Georgia counties in the 9th Congressional District will receive more than $4 million in Transportation Enhancement Program funds, including $500,000 headed toward Dalton's greenway.

The project will use various paths and trails to connect the city's central business district to outdoor recreation in the north part of town.

"We are really pleased," Dalton City Manager Ty Ross said. "It is not everything we asked for, but we got the largest amount of any grant."

Walker County received $225,000 for a welcome center at McLemore Cove, and Fort Oglethorpe will use its $500,000 for a multiuse trail along Battlefield Parkway.

The funding for Dalton is in addition to a $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources received earlier this year to build trails on Mount Rachel.

The city had asked for $1 million, which would have allowed it to complete the greenway project, aimed at attracting outdoor-loving young professionals. The $500,000 award will fund the first phase of the project, with the city providing 20 percent matching funds.

Ross said the money should be enough to allow a connection from downtown to Crown Mill Village along Chattanooga Avenue. Eventually the city hopes to branch out into three paths that would take pedestrians to Mount Rachel, Haig Mill Lake and Heritage Point.

"We believe in the snowball effect," Ross said. "If people see what this is all about, we think they will get excited and work with us to make it happen."

The city is also hoping to encourage development at the Crown Mill Village area between Chattanooga Avenue and North Hamilton Road. On May 23, the Dalton Planning Commission approved the area as an arts and cultural district to help promote new uses, including a limited number of small-scale live entertainment venues.

The designation allows coffee shops, museums, brewpubs, theaters and art galleries but bans novelty shops and various other types of stores.

Kevin Herrit, a county and city planner, told the board that the aim was to encourage an area where both residential homes and businesses could exist.