Salem walking track on hold

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Construction of a walking track in the Salem community at the south end of Pearl River County has been put on hold.

The project started to move forward after the Pearl River County School Board of Trustees approved a motion to allow the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors to utilize 16th Section Land to construct the walking track. That motion was approved during a meeting held in May last year. The initial project would have included about five acres of 16th Section Land.

But, the project was put on hold after the Board of Supervisors learned the State has asked the county to pay approximately $2,000 in annual leasing fees to the School District for the use of that land.

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District IV Supervisor Farron Moeller said construction of the walking track in the Salem community will help keep the residents safe, because he has seen a number of people walking on the side of busy roads, at times with children.

Moeller said he and the rest of the Board want to move forward with the project, but only if the State would be willing to reduce the cost of leasing the land.

“Considering the overall expenses required to carry out this project the Board can only move forward if the State agrees on reducing the price, otherwise we will have to look for another piece of land,” Moeller said.

County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin said the Board is currently working to see if changes can be made to the current lease deal.

Lumpkin said the project would include a walking track and possibly some playground equipment if enough funds are available.

“We are looking at an estimated project cost of approximately $20,000, including laying down the asphalt and other additional labor costs, and are currently looking for additional funding,” Lumpkin said.

Moeller said building this walking track will come as a relief to many residents in the Salem area who are looking for a safe place to carry out their morning exercise or take their children.