PILOT MOUNTAIN — A stream restoration and greenway project are in the works for Depot Street and downtown.
After the last Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners meeting, Town Manager Michael Boaz updated the board on two grants that have been awarded to fund the Depot Street stream restoration and greenway project.
The two grants totaled $700,000 dollars, according to Boaz.
The idea is that the greenway project would stretch from East Main Street through downtown, starting down Key Street, explained Commissioner Evan Cockerham. The master plan is to connect Downtown Pilot to Pilot Mountain State Park via a greenway path.
“Right now we have an opportunity to do this project with grant funds that are already earmarked for greenway and stream restoration projects.”
“The first portion of the grant is around $300,000. This part of the grant is to restore the banks of the stream.”
“People’s backyards are eroding away, and we can prevent this.”
However, easements seemed to be an issue for the town to collect.
“We have had people say they want to do this, but we haven’t collected easements from them,” said Commissioner Kim Quinn during the town’s last board meeting.
“We have three easements that have been signed and returned to us. We need something like 41 for the total project (all three phases) and 22 for phase 1,” said Boaz.
Cockerham stated he felt as though a lot of the kickback from the community was that folks were unsure about the greenway portion of the project.
Originally the easement was drafted to include both portions of the project, the stream restoration and the paving of the greenway.
“We have collected more easements since we are striking the greenway portion out,” said Cockerham.
“I think that a greenway project is an important component for not only beautifying the area along the stream, but also for revitalizing downtown, boosting our local economy, and providing healthy recreation for all of our citizens.
“Projects like these are the kind that we have kicked around for decades and watched as surrounding municipalities have passed us by.
“This is just one part of a bigger plan to revitalize Pilot Mountain and ensure that we have a thriving, healthy economy that welcomes new businesses and residents to our community,” explained Cockerham.
The board seems to be hopeful the project can begin by spring.
“Once started, the contracted company seemed to indicate it would be a quick process,” added Cockerham.
Reach Eva Winemiller at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @ReporterEva