COVINGTON — Newton Trails will receive a $40,000 contribution from the city of Covington to go toward completing the Cricket Frog Trail from Pace Street to Emory Street.
Council members voted unanimously to make the contribution, which will be used to pave 50 to 100 feet of trail from Pace Street westward to the trestle bridge that spans Dried Indian Creek. The bridge is situated behind City Hall, which is located on Emory Street. City funding for the trail paving will come from a $300,000 fund set aside in this year’s budget for trails and parks.
During discussion of the issue, several council members indicated they would like to do more for the trail project, but without cost estimates for additional work, they decided to wait to hear further requests from Newton Trails.
Newton Trails is currently seeking donations from supporters for funds to repair and re-open the Dried Indian Creek bridge. The total estimated cost of the project is $108,000.
Newton Trails has already received a $50,000 grant from the Waterfall Foundation and another $30,000 from an anonymous donor. Smart Growth Newton County has offered a challenge grant of $7,000 if Newton Trails can generate $21,000 from supporters.
The 14.9-mile Cricket Frog Trail follows the route of what was once the Central of Georgia Railroad, running from Washington Street in Covington to Ziegler Road, just west of Newborn. The trail, which is leased from the railroad by Newton Trails — Path Foundation, is mostly primitive now, but .65 miles between Elm Street and Conyers Street in Covington have been paved. Of the 14.9 miles of trail, about 6.5 miles are open to the public.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted in October to allow the use of county impact fee funds to go toward paving a portion of the trail in unincorporated Newton County. The county agreed to fund paving of at least 2 miles of trail in the county or as much as 9 miles.