Commission approves purchase of homes for park, trail

Construction is expected to start next year on a new trail near downtown Greenwood that will connect parks and gathering places.

The trail near Main and Meridian streets will link Craig Park, the Greenwood Community Center and the Greenwood Amphitheater with Old City Park, as part of a plan by city officials to make the community more accessible to pedestrians.

The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission approved spending about $340,000 to purchase and demolish three properties, hire an architectural firm to develop plans for the trail and to acquire land for improvements to a nearby intersection.

How much construction will cost is not yet known.

The commission approved spending $192,500 to purchase homes at 301 S. Meridian St. and 21 E. Main St. and will spend $20,500 to demolish them. The land from those two properties and a third purchased earlier this year will create space for a wider sidewalk along Meridian Street, connect a system of trails between parks in the area and allow for a new parking lot, which could also be used by customers visiting Mrs. Curl Ice Cream Shop and Archer’s Meats and Catering.

A third property, a house at 1 E. Main St., was purchased for $65,000 by the redevelopment commission earlier this year, which also spent $12,000 to tear it down to make room for improvements to the intersection of Main and Meridian streets.

Those improvements will include a new right turn lane on Meridian Street, along with wider sidewalks. That project is separate from the proposed trail and hasn’t been funded yet, Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said.

The city board is paying for the projects with money from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, which set aside property taxes from certain businesses for economic development. The redevelopment commission approved hiring Rundell Ernstberger Associates for $48,700 to develop plans for the trail.

Construction on the new trail could begin as soon as the spring.

Because the trail will be next to Pleasant Creek, the city must acquire several permits before work can began, Steinmetz said.

No cost estimate is available for construction costs but will be available once the architects have completed preliminary plans, he said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.