The Italy Economic Development Corporation decided Monday evening to hold a public hearing, possibly within the next 30 days, to pursue the construction of a walking trail at Upchurch Ball Fields.
Charles Hyles, EDC member, said Gerdau Steel in Midlothian is donating the steel to use in the walking trail. He estimated it to be a savings between $8,000 and $9,000 for the trail. The walking trail, he estimated, would be seven-feet wide and just under half-a-mile.
Hyles said he has a call in to TXI to see if they could possibly donate the concrete, or at least a portion of the concrete, for the project.
The group decided to move forward with this walking trail project with costs not to exceed $44,335.
Mark Stiles, president, and Teri Murdock, city secretary/administrator, said they would need to schedule a public hearing, then take the resolution to the city council. Upon the city’s approval, they could not expend any monies for 60 days. Murdock said she needed concrete, labor and steel price estimates.
The EDC tabled the agenda item to upgrade the playground equipment at Upchurch Ball Fields.
Hyles said the grant writers say there are not any park grants available at this time. He said he would prefer to see a park before a walking trail but said they needed to move forward with the walking trail since the steel is being donated. He said they could possibly move forward with the playground next year.
In other business, Stiles authorized Hyles to get an estimate for a plaque honoring Zack and Elva McConnell. The plaque will be placed on an inside column of the new pavilion.
Stiles said a McConnell family member recently called city hall requesting the plaque in recognition of the contributions the couple made to the community.The EDC authorized Hyles to move forward with the purchase of the plaque, up to $500.
They also discussed the appearance to the outside of the pavilion. Hyles said he considered two options – a large, rustic star or a large city insignia.
They also discussed putting a sign on the Boze Community Center. Stiles said they purchased the building and once purchased, it was turned over to the city. He suggested the city decide what type of signage the building might need.
Murdock briefly outlined the EDC financial balances — $339, operating account; $115,516, money market; $9,457, bond; debt service, $386; and escrow, $37,197.
She said sales tax received in March was $5,839.91, up 38.99 percent from the same time last year. The group also approved minutes from the previous meeting and bills.
Members Elmerine Bell and Darrell Rosemond were not present at the meeting.