The Lansing Board of Aldermen were updated on the status of the Lansing Creeper Trail Expansion project during their regular scheduled meeting on Monday, June 9.
President of Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD), and the main person overseeing the project, Ann Rose, presented the Aldermen with potential areas of expansion for the park, including 20 acres alongside Big Horse Creek.
Rose said the owner of that property, Rex Little, is offering $6,500 an acre for his 20-acre parcel. The land includes both sides of the Big Horse Creek frontage, up to the Big Horse Creek Bridge near the Citgo in Lansing.
“That would give (the town of Lansing)the entire rest of the creek waters up to the bridge,” Rose said.
If the town acquired the land, the town limits would expand to annex the property Lansing bought. Alderman Mauvene Shepherd asked how that would be done.
“Does anybody here know anything about annexing and all of the rules involved with doing that,” she asked.
Mayor George Rembert said there would not be much of a process since the land would be owned by the town.
“The (town limits) would go right with all of the property we (would own),” he said.
Rose also expressed interest in buying additional land which the Little property would surround, which is owned by Ethel Welch. This property contains parts of the old Virginia Creeper Railroad bed, which is 60 feet wide and would run the same length of the potential acquired property.
“(Welch) is wanting to do something with the land,” Rose said. “She said she doesn’t need it and she isn’t coming back (to Lansing). She is very interested in selling.”
Rose said Welch enjoyed the prospect of expanding the new park, but had not got back in touch with the town about how much she would sell the land for.
The town government seemed pleased with the prospect of acquiring those parcels for the park’s expansion.
“It sounds like a much better deal than the offer that we were originally looking at,” said alderman Dylan Lightfoot. “I think (the prospect) is brilliant and I am totally for it.”
Rembert echoed Lightfoot’s views on the potential.
“It sounds absolutely great,” he said.
If the land is purchased, potential ideas for the land include expanding the walking trail to be approximately 6,000 feet long and adding additional parking, because of ease of access from the potential property.
Rose said she had been in touch with Tom Massie of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund over the a grant the town applied for in March. They are expecting to hear an answer about the grant money, which would be approximately $235,000, by August.
“(Massie) seemed very interested, because we are a result of the Pond Mountain Head Waters and because we are directly downstream from Pond Mountain,” Rose said. “That gives us a little bit of an edge over some of the other applications.”
In addition to that grant, GLAD is also trying to acquire a $120,000 grant from the Water Resource Development Project. That money could go for work along the Big Horse Creek stream bank and the construction of walking trails.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.