The Winnsboro Town Council voted unanimously during their April 3 meeting to move forward with pursuing a grant to create a recreational walking trail on the field in front of the Mt. Zion Institute. The Town, as part of the grant requirements, commissioned LandPlan Group South, of Columbia, to draw a conceptual plan of the former school grounds, which cost $800. The next step in the grant process is for the Town to hold a public hearing on the proposed plan.
The grant is called the Recreational Trails Program (RTC) and is available through the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. RTC is a federal aid assistance program designed to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use.
Qualified private organizations, municipal, county, state or federal government agencies are eligible and there is an 80-20-match program, meaning the Town of Winnsboro would be responsible for 20 percent of the funding. The maximum federally funded grant amount per project is $100,000 and the minimum awarded is $10,000. The grant paperwork is due April 17.
According to Town Grants Coordinator Connie Shackelford, LandPlan South estimated their plan would cost $163,955 to implement. The plan calls for a circular fifth-of-a-mile oval sidewalk, trees, historical markers and lighting.
“I need the Council to approve this plan and $125,000 if we get the grant,” Shackelford said. “If we get it, they (RTC) will reimburse 80 percent.”
“This project has to go out for bid,” Councilman Jackie Wilkes said. “It might come in at $125,000.”
“There will eventually be a capital campaign to raise money for a World War II monument,” Shackelford said. “Or we can do the plan in phases.”
Shackelford told the Council the grant would be awarded in six to eight weeks.
In order to meet the grant criteria, the Town of Winnsboro is holding a public meeting to discuss the application of the S.C. Recreation Trails Program grant. This meeting is an opportunity for the public to view and discuss the proposed design and application for a recreation trail at Mt. Zion. The public hearing will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at the Winnsboro Municipal Court Room, 117 West Washington St. in Winnsboro.
For questions about this meeting contact Winnsboro’s Community Development Director Connie Shackelford at 803-635-4041, ext.106.