Daily Reflector Feb 11,201  City gets greenway funding

  • By Reflector Staff
  • Feb 11, 2014

The South Tar River Greenway extension’s construction is closer to completion after a unanimous vote from City Council on Monday evening.

Thanks to an agreement between the city and the N.C. Department of Transportation that the council approved, the NCDOT will provide $903,000 in additional funding to cover increased construction costs.

Normally, the city would be required to match 20 percent of grants for greenways, according to Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan. This agreement does not require the city to match the additional funds.

“NCDOT is phasing out funding specifically for greenways and, in the future, will make them compete with roads for funding,” Mulligan said. “In the interim, NCDOT is using the money they currently have to complete greenway projects that are already in the works.”

Phase III of the South Tar River Greenway, from Pitt Street to Moye Boulevard, connects west Greenville, the new Veterans Administration facility and Vidant Medical Center to the greenway system at the Town Common. The greenway continues along the Tar River through the university neighborhood area to Greensprings and Elm Street parks and East Carolina University.

Greenville initially applied for a $1.2 million grant for design and construction of the greenway. The city was awarded $907,609 and was required to match 20 percent. The Pitt County Health Department also awarded the city a $50,000 grant to aid in the planning of the project. Greenville was paying $226,902 for its share of the project.

But in the planning the project, issues affecting the scope and design were discovered which will require additional funds, including: crossing the CSX bridge, lengthening the greenway beyond the original termination point, acquiring more property than originally planned, adding a boardwalk and bridges to reduce wetland effect and providing trail heads for parking.

The total project costs now stand at more than $2 million, but the agreement with NCDOT provides an additional 903,000 in federal and state funds with no additional matching funds required. This brings outside funding for the project to more than $1.86 million.

“The upcoming Phase III extension will make the greenway of even greater benefit to our citizens and community, so we expect positive response to continue and even grow,” said Recreation and Parks Director Gary Fenton.

Unanimously approved by council:

  • Resolutions granting and authorizing execution of easements for the Pitt County-City of Greenville Airport Authority;
  • Extension of memorandum of understanding with ECU relating to the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Center;
  • Extension of the lease agreement with the state of North Carolina for the school building at the IGCC;
  • Extension of the lease agreement with the state of North Carolina for the first floor of the Lessie Bass Building at 1100 Ward St.;
  • Extension of the lease agreement with Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center Inc. for the second floor of the Lessie Bass building at 1100 Ward St.;
  • Extension of the lease agreement with the Little Willie Center Inc. of Pitt County for the rectory and annex buildings at the IGCC;
  • Resolution accepting dedication of rights-of-way and easements for Arbor Hills South, Phase 3;
  • Economic Development Grant Applications;
  • Resolution declaring a 40-foot coastal trailer as surplus and authorizing its disposition to the City of New Bern;
  • Ordinance amending the manual of fees to address the C.M. Eppes Alumni Parade;
  • Spend $28,000 to replace carpet at the South Greenville Recreation Center gym;
  • Add $85,862 from the towns of Winterville and Ayden for their share of the Transmap project to Greenville’s general fund.

The council voted 4-2 to continue discussion of the University Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Committee’s final report, along with discussion of the UNRI Overlay district, particularly the four-unrelated-occupancy rule, until Thursday’s meeting. District 1 Councilwoman Kandie Smith and District 2 Councilwoman Rose Glover voted against.

The council also heard presentations from the Board of Adjustment, Human Relations Council and the midyear report from Uptown Greenville.

The council heard reports on the city’s new smartphone app, multi-facility improvement project and the emergency and adverse weather pay policy.

Contact Abbie Bennett at abennett@reflector.com or 252-329-9579.

Daily Reflector Jan 27,2023  From a story about city council planning session Jan 27:

Friday’s meeting began with a review of the community input collected as the city and a consultant prepare a new recreation and parks master plan.

Greenville’s demographics are changing, said Nicholas Kuhn, a professional landscape architect with Kimley-Horn.

The city’s population of people 65 and older is growing twice as fast as the rest of the state, Kuhn said, and its population of adults 35-45 has grown 14 percent. But since 2010 its youth population has dropped 13.2 percent. The state’s population in that age range has dropped 8 percent.

Specifically, the age group of people 20-24 is down 18.5 percent and the 10-19 age group is down 15.6 percent.

The study identified the top goals of residents is developing a safe system of greenways and trails, diversifying programming to accommodate changing interests and demographics, identifying locations for new neighborhood parks for equitable access, updating and expanding existing facilities and identifying funding and grants to support maintenance and improvements.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570. 



Daily Reflector Feb 10. 2021  Greenway expansion continues despite obstacles

  • By Pat Gruner Staff Writer

  • Feb 10, 2021

Expansion of the South Tar River Greenway is continuing despite setbacks from bad weather and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a local advocate said.

Jill Twark, chairwoman of the Friends of Greenville Greenways (FROGGS) discussed plans during a meeting of the Sierra Club, Cypress Group, on Monday evening.

Construction is underway on what has been dubbed Phase 3A, which will see the greenway stretch from Pitt Street to Memorial Drive along the southern bank of the Tar River.

Continuing the construction has been difficult, largely due to a recession caused by the pandemic and a long bidding process. Construction costs for the newest portion of the greenway totaled $3.5 million.

Twark said the city is dividing the project into phases due to funding.

“They only have funding, I think, for this part currently and are probably going to find more grant money to pay for the rest,” Twark said. “The recession and other circumstances saw the cost of building supplies get more expensive.”

The contract for this portion of the greenway was bid out three times, she said.

“The third was the charm,” Twark said. “The first two went out and were over what construction firms could pay, so we have just been in this quagmire of bidding and not having proper bids coming in.

“Finally, after many years, this greenway is under construction.”

Building began in January and the expectation was that the path would be completed by March or April. Due to inclement weather and flooding of the Tar River, that date now is projected to fall closer to August or September.

“It is at least progressing,” Twark said. “This initial phase being constructed now is actually down at the river bank — below all the houses in west Greenville on the bluff.

“They are going to build a hanging metal bridge that is going to have a ramp that goes down and then travels under Memorial Drive, both roads, and then comes back up so that people can take their wheelchair, ride their bike or walk across Memorial Drive and then over to the veteran’s clinic,” she said.

East Carolina University will pay for a stretch running from Fifth Street at the veteran’s clinic to campus, but the exact location remains undefined.

“Hopefully it will facilitate even people commuting to work who live along the river and downtown who work at the Brody School of Medicine or Vidant,” Twark said. “Plus there are the obvious recreation benefits to it.”

Future expansion of the greenway will see construction from Moye Boulevard to Nash Street. FROGGS projects include finding amenities such as benches and trash cans for the new segment of the trail.

A pedestrian bridge over the Tar River at Wildwood Park also has been discussed, but it is not expected to be completed in the next five years.

For more information visit https://www.froggs.org. A meeting on the project is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, at the Starlight Cafe in Greenville.

Green Saves Green

Following Twark’s presentation, Nita Coleman from Elizabeth City’s Green Saves Green advocacy group spoke with the Cypress Club.

The organization, which has been around since 2017, is working to make wind-energy a focal point of eastern N.C. as well as to clean toxic algae blooms and trash affecting the Albemarle and Little Rivers in Pasqotank County.

Green Saves Green plans to hold events in the fall, projecting Oct. 2 for a Love Your River event that promotes trash clean-up. Another event, Plants to Pollinators, does not have a date scheduled.

Contact Pat Gruner at pgruner@reflector.com and (252)-329-9566.