In jeopardy of losing more than $100,000 in grant funds from the Arkansas Highway Department, Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins is hoping the department will approve a change in spending for the grant.
The grant was initially written to pay for the bridges to connect a walking trail between Veteran’s and Marcelle Phillips city parks, but the bridges were installed prior to the Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Featherston learning the grant was approved.
The first revised plan called for the bridge tie-ins and lighting for the parks, but that was “turned down,” the mayor said.
Now, Wilkins is hoping a second revised plan of completing the bridge tie-ins, and installation of sidewalks along Seventh Street from the Boys & Girls Club to McCandless will be approved.
That would allow sidewalk transportation between all schools in the city.
“Should this go through, you’ll be able to walk from the Boys & Girls Club on sidewalk, all the way to the front office of the high school,” said Wilkins.
There is currently sidewalk from Eighth and McCandless to Pine Street connecting to sidewalks to the high school. There is also already a sidewalk off Eighth to the junior high.
Although the bridges are usable now, the tie-ins are necessary to make passage safer and provide access for golf carts — the bridges were built wide enough for carts of those who may wish to play the disc golf course which spans both parks and the connecting trail, but are physically limited.
Like the bridges, the course is also usable, however the cages are not marked and there is no course layout posted. The cages are also rough.