The Cave Spring City Council opted against seeking a $100,000 federal grant to further a link to the Silver Comet Trail in Cedartown.
Mayor Dennis Shoaf said a consensus could not be reached during the board’s Tuesday caucus and the issue was not raised during the following business meeting.
“We have bigger fish to fry,” Shoaf said, referring to the city’s ongoing $5 million rehabilitation of its failing sewer system.
City officials have been trying for several years to make a connection to the popular 61.5-mile Silver Comet that draws an estimated 2 million bikers, hikers and other non-motorized traffic each year.
The Appalachian Regional Commission grant, if awarded, would be used to bring the city’s trail system to the Pinhoti Trail at Dead Goat Gate. There still would be about seven miles needed in unincorporated Floyd and Polk County to get to the Cedartown trailhead.
Shoaf said there were several major concerns, including where the city would get the required $30,000 local match for the grant. Without commitments from Polk, Rome and Floyd County, the project is on hold.
“Right now, I think the sewer’s just got priority,” he said.
The city pulled in about $4.9 million in state and federal grants and loans, using as leverage a $1.2 million earmark in the 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax package.
Plans include rehabilitation of the sewer main, manhole system and collection lines and a $2.2 million upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division warned several years ago the system must be fixed or shut down.
Shoaf said camera-mapping of the system is nearly complete, “then they’ll start digging.” Several areas, including a section in front of Cave Spring Elementary School, have already been targeted for emergency repairs.
Council members did adopt an ordinance Tuesday that regulates the use of golf carts on city streets. The vehicles must be inspected at the police department and get a $15 decal, which is good for three years or until the cart changes ownership.
Carts can’t be ridden on sidewalks, trails or state highways — except on designated crosswalks. Shoaf said the ordinance would go into effect in 30 days.