Tweetsie Trail close to fundraising goal

Published 10:00 am Sunday, July 26, 2015

A large donation by Carter County toward the completion of the Tweetsie Trail has helped bring the final stage of the trail one step closer to being open.

Members of the Carter County Commission unanimously approved a requested by the Carter County Parks and Recreation Board to give $10,000 from the Parks and Rec fund to the Tweetsie Trail Task Force.

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Carter County Parks and Recreation Board Chairman Ken Gough was pleased the donation was approved by the Commission.

“This shows how the trail has seized the imagination of the community and people are beginning to realize what a benefit the Tweetsie Trail is,”said Gough, who also serves as one of Carter County’s representatives on the Tweetsie Trail Task Force.

Earlier this year, Gough joined members of the Task Force in announcing $50,000 in funding would be needed to complete the trail by the Labor Day target date.

“We set a goal of $50,000 and were questioned if it was feasible,” Gough said. “I do not have current numbers, but the information I have is we are getting close to our goal, and quite frankly, I think we’ll exceed it.”

Carter County’s donation went a long way toward reaching that goal. “Right there was 20 percent of it,” Gough said.

The final portion of the trail will run from Holly Lane through the downtown area and along Stateline Road, ending at Hatcher Lane.

Money raised by the task force will go to grading and gravel work for the trail as well as signage and safety features at several crossings where the trail intersects roads. Also, a small bridge for the trail will be constructed along Stateline Road, Gough said.

Everything is on track to meet the hoped for Labor Day weekend, Gough said.

“The plans are in the works right now for an opening ceremony,” he said, adding the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of the ceremony. “From what I understand they have a very interesting and special ceremony planned.”