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Town of Erwin BMA OKs Linear Trail extension

Mayor Doris Hensley and City Recorder Travis Bishop during the Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday, Aug. 24. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

The Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen met on Monday, Aug. 24, to discuss an extension to the Erwin Linear Trail and patrols by the Erwin Police Department, among other business items.

According to Town of Erwin City Recorder Travis Bishop, an ARC grant for an Erwin Linear Trail extension must be used by Jan. 1, 2022.

“So far we have accrued $48,000 worth of expenses for the trail,” Bishop said. “The trail extension is expected to cost $428,000 and the grant will cover roughly $350,000 of that. We have come this far. I would recommend going forward so we don’t lose that grant.”

According to Mayor Doris Hensley, this opportunity will help extend the trail past Governors Bend Assisted Living Facility.

“I think this is a great opportunity to complete the trail,” Hensley said. “That trail has brought a lot of foot traffic to Erwin.”

The BMA voted unanimously to move forward with the Linear Trail extension. Members of the BMA will next plan with Tysinger, Hampton & Partners to begin the construction of the extension. No date was set for the project to be complete, but according to Bishop,the project must be completed by Jan. 1, 2022 to receive funding.

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The BMA also voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that will allow the Town of Erwin Police Department to enforce the rules of the road on I-26 within city limits.

“This allows our police department to patrol I-26,” Hensley said.

According to Town of Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson, the ordinance will allow his officers in marked cars the ability to write citations to those who violate the rules of the road on the interstate.

“We only use marked vehicles,” Tilson said. “The benefit will allow our public safety officers to be out working the roads and it could help speed up the process of cleaning up accidents.”

The board voted unanimously to allow town personnel to participate in a 401(a)/401(K) deferred compensation plan and to allow town personnel to participate in a governmental 457(b) deferred compensation plan.

According to Hensley, these moves would give the town’s employees more mobility with their retirement.

Also on Monday, the board voted unanimously to approve a franchise agreement between the Town of Erwin and Comcast of the South.

“We have to renew this every seven years, and it is up now,” Hensley said.

According to Hensley, the agreement is for Comcast of the South to provide cable television services to the Town of Erwin for the next seven years.