Cumberland CID takes step back on walking trail
by Jon Gillooly
October 26, 2012 01:10 AM | 2072 views | 3 3 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bob Callan Trail - (Image courtesy of the Cumberland CID)
Bob Callan Trail - (Image courtesy of the Cumberland CID)
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CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Community Improvement District has canceled Wednesday’s groundbreaking for a two-mile addition to the Bob Callan Trail after bids came in $409,000 over budget.

CID Chairman Tad Leithead announced the cancellation at Thursday’s board meeting. The additional costs will now be reviewed at the board’s November meeting.

The lowest bid was from Johnson Landscaping, at $2.118 million. Other bidders were C.W. Matthews, $2.124 million; Southeastern Site Development, $2.14 million; Baldwin Paving, $2.35 million; and Pitman Construction, $3.1 million, Leithead said.

“The bids came back $409,000 over,” he said.

John Shern, vice chairman of the CID, said the problem is a county-required contingency fund.

“It’s not a cost overrun per se, but it is an obligation that we’re going to have to accept,” Shern said.

The proposed two-mile asphalt segment, which would connect the Cochran Shoals and Palisades areas of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, will be completely financed by the CID, Leithead said. The CID has already spent $235,858 with Kimley-Horn Associates on the trail design and planning.

“This is the last section that we are committed to build,” Leithead said. “We will continue to study whether there are other connections that we want to make.”

Leithead said the CID began construction on the Bob Callan trail, which was named for a former Georgia administrator in the Federal Highway Administration, in 2006.

The trail is heavily used by bicyclists, runners and walkers.

“It provides people access to the national recreation areas, to the national park, Rottenwood Creek, our business owners, employees of the CID, bicyclists, pedestrians,” Leithead said. “You really have the opportunity to be in a major commercial environment like Cumberland Galleria but also have immediate access to a very, very natural environment with a trail. It’s really a remarkable asset for us to have right here in the middle of the district.”

The trail is open for public use.

“The 180 members of the CID are paying for 100 percent of the cost of this, but we don’t restrict access to those 180 members or their employees,” Leithead said. “It’s a public facility. It’s part of the national park system, and people from all over not only the county but the region have access to this. It’s a real win-win situation for the entire community.”
Comments
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TIC
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October 26, 2012
@ Craig Kootsillas

I agree, unless the projects being funded DIRECTLY benefit the general taxpaying public then neither state or federal grant funds should be utilized.

But in this case it is my understanding that the ENTIRE project cost, including the engineering costs, will be bourne by the CID.

It's their tax money collected from their taxpayers. They can do with it as they wish as long as it is permitted by the enabling legislation.

It's when they start "leveraging" federal and state dollars with their money that the game changes.

When that happens and the projects inure to the primary benefit of the CID taxpayers and are only of marginal benefit to the taxpaying public at large that the issue becomes somewhat distasteful.
TIC
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October 26, 2012
Sounds like a great project and even better it is 100% paid for by the taxpayers in the CID which is exactly as it should be.
Craig Kootsillas
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October 26, 2012
If grant or fed funds are involved, it goes beyond the CID. This is the problem with the CIDs. It gives selected unelected and unaccountable members of the private sector access to public money.

It is flat out wrong.
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