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County Co. Board 20 Aug2018: Welcome center, water and roads

Union Co. Board 20 AUG2018 Monday, Aug 30 meeting of Union County Supervisors.

The Union County Board of Supervisors acted on items related to two real estate parcels in its meeting Monday morning, Aug. 20.

With the unanimous approval of the board, its President Steve Watson signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that moves forward the construction of a welcome center adjacent to the Tanglefoot Trail in downtown New Albany. The agreement is between the county board, the City of New Albany and the GM&O Rails to Trails Recreation District (GM&O). GM&O owns and operates the Tanglefoot Trail, a paved cycling and hiking trails that originates in downtown New Albany and runs 43.6 miles to Houston, Miss.

The MOA provides for that Union County leases of one-tenth of an acre, a quadrilateral shape, to the City of New Albany for a 20 years at one dollar per year. The lease may be extended by option for up to 100 years. The leased space is adjacent to the Union County Public Library and next to the Tanglefoot Trail.

The welcome center is to be built, owned and operated by the City of New Albany and financed, in part, by an Appalachian Regional Commission grant to GM&O.

Rails to Trails

The Tanglefoot Trail, completed in 2015, was constructed on an abandoned railroad right-of-way, previously owned by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio (GM&O) Railroad. The GM&O owned 3,946 miles of standard gauge (4 foot, 8-1/2 inches) track when it was merged into the Illinois Central Railroad in 1972.

The portion of the track from New Albany to Ripley was originally a part of the Ship Island, Ripley and Kentucky Railroad (Ship Island). The Ship Island was completed during the 1870s, by William Clark Falkner, great-grandfather of writer William Cuthbert Faulkner, who won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Illinois Central Railroad sold off a lot of its track system in 1996 to several different railroad companies. Included was the right of way of Falkner’s original railroad. The old Ship Island right of way and track has had numerous owners since 1996.

Only the 27 mile portion between New Albany and Falkner, Miss., is still in operation. It is known as the Ripley & New Albany Railroad, and is one of 23 short line railroad operations owned by Pioneer Railcorp. Pioneer is based in Peoria,Ill. and operates about 600 miles of track spread over 13 states.

In another matter pertaining to another piece of real estate, the county board approved payment of $1,250 to Hodge Appraisal for an appraisal of a 27.5 acre industrial site on County Road 54.

Union County roads and water service

The board approved an application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). District Four Supervisor Randy Owen said that grant, if approved, would allow county water service to be extended to 35 additional homes in District Four. Owen said he had been working on the project for about four years and believes there is a good chance it will be approved.

Following inspection by Supervisor Owen and District Two Supervisor Chad Coffey, the Board of Supervisors agreed to take in three additional roads as part of the county maintained road system. They are Brittany Road, Sarah Grace Road, and Samuel Road.

Union Co. Board 20 Aug2018

Brad Tennison is a candidate for an open chancery court judgeship.

At the end of the board meeting Brad Tennison, an attorney from Prentiss County, spoke briefly. Tennison is a candidate for an open judgeship in the Chancery Court District, which includes Union County. It is not uncommon for candidates and office holders to show up at county board meetings to do a little “politicking.” Typically they are not on the published agenda, but are generally allowed to introduce themselves and state their business.

The county board will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4

 

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