Even as the Eight Mile Creek Trail project begins construction, the city of Paragould is looking ahead to its expansion.

The Paragould City Council has approved a resolution permitting the city to apply for yet another grant, to help pay for the next section of the project.

“This resolution is the same as [what] we’ve passed three times,” said Paragould Mayor Josh Agee to open discussion of the resolution. “Back in 2016 we passed this resolution to apply for our first TAP [Transportation Alternative Program] grant for the Eight Mile Creek Trail, [and] since then we’ve applied for two more.”

Agee said the grant money for the first three phases – for which ground was broken on May 14 – totaled $965,000 out of an expected cost of $1.57 million. “We have reached out to ETC [Engineers and Architects], who has been our engineer on this project,” he said, “and had them identify the next ‘corridor,’ if you will, for the next phase.”

Agee said that phase, number 4, is to connect Bland Softball Field on Carroll Road with Greene County Tech Primary School on South Rockingchair Road, a distance of 12,000 feet (slightly longer than two miles). “The grant is for $500,000,” Agee explained on Wednesday, “and the cost is about $500,000 a mile.”

The city and the spearheading Greene County Future Fund, he said, would cover the remainder of the cost to extend the trail the two-plus miles to Tech Primary. Both entities covered the remainder of the cost of the first three phases as well.

The resolution expressing the city’s intent to utilize the grant for the project passed 8-0.

City Clerk Andrea Williams announced the results of the state legislative audit of the city’s offices last week. “They audit all of our financial statements in all the offices,” she told the council, “the ticket books, all of our invoices, all of our receipts – everything.”

Williams said the audit covered the city clerk’s office, the city treasurer, the finance director and the police chief. “And we had no comments and no findings,” she said. “We had a clean audit.”

“I commend former Mayor Mike Gaskill,” said Agee, “Andrea [Williams], Georgia [Rogers, treasurer], Teresa [Stormes, finance director] and Todd [Stovall, police chief].”

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