July 1, 2009
Tim Pratt -
STARKVILLE -- A new Lynn Lane recreation path is in the works.
The Starkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday voted 4-3 for engineering firm Neel-Schaffer to move forward with a revised plan that would connect Sycamore Street to McKee Park and the city''s Sportsplex. Original plans called for the path to connect Mississippi State University to McKee Park, but environmental and right-of-way issues, along with fast approaching Federal Highway Administration funding deadlines, caused Neel-Schaffer''s Kevin Stafford to inform the city last week the whole scope of the project needs to change.
The new path would total about 9,000 linear feet and begin at Sycamore Street. It then would flow through McKee Park and eventually circle the Sportsplex on the other side of Lynn Lane. Aldermen Tuesday were leery about the newly proposed plan, considering the intent of the original path was to connect MSU with McKee Park and local neighborhoods.
Stafford warned the board, however, that the city could lose $1.2 million in federal funds if it doesn''t finalize a project by Sept. 30. The city would be obligated to provide roughly $320,000 in matching funds to receive the $1.2 million.
Ward 1 Alderman Sumner Davis cited the $320,000 figure and was skeptical about the new plan, calling it "literally a ring around a park."
Davis, Ward 6 Alderman and Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins, and Ward 7 Alderman Janette Self all voted against the new plan.
Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey made the motion to approve Neel-Schaffer''s new design.
"It seems to me it won''t accomplish one goal, but it will meet another goal, and that is to connect our neighborhoods and our parks," Corey said.