TREC Board Approves Property Acquisition, But at No Cost to TREC


Published on February 14 2013 2:14 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County TREC Board Thursday approved the acquisition of a 50+ acre tract of land designed to enhance the network of trails now under development.


TREC Board President Frank Brummer explained negotiations for the acquisition have been underway for some time.  Brummer said two local couples have stepped forward and have agreed to cover two-thirds of the cost of the acquisition.  The other one-third of the purchase price will be covered by CRP payments being made to the property owner.

TREC Vice-President Bill Austin said the tract of land is along one of the segments of the existing trail, but could not further identify the parcel until negotiations are concluded.  Brummer said the parcel, as he envisions it, could be an unimproved trail area and could feature a picnic area or park.  He said trail users often ask about benches or rest areas along the trails, but said TREC is limited as they have easements for just the trail.

Brummer said, "The aim is not to obligate TREC (for the purchase); the money raised by TREC to date is only for trail development."  The property is located between Effingham and Lake Sara.

The TREC Board voted to authorize their Executive Committee to negotiate and finalize the acquisition of the parcel.  Board member Frank Kabbes abstained from the vote.

In other business, Fund Drive Committee representative Brad Beesley reported that $102,200 has been pledged or contributed toward a $300,000 fundraising goal.  The $300,000 is needed to match a $1.2 million Federal grant that would pay for Phase 3 of the trail network.  Also, TREC Treasurer Ken Vogt shared that there should be $150,000 in the bank toward the cost of the next project.  There was also information shared about a quarter-million-dollar state grant for Phase 4 of the network that would involve trail from Outer Belt West and the southeast end of Calico Trail to Fayette Avenue.  The segment would avoid the old bridge east of Outer Belt West and north of Fayette Avenue that has been declared unsafe for vehicle or pedestrian use.

Brummer reported that parking is no longer permitted on the north end of Calico Drive along Evergreen Avenue.  Trail users are instead asked to park at the Effingham Performance Center.  He also announced that the City would soon be building a sidewalk to run from the EPC parking lot to the area of the north trail entrance.

Officers were chosen for the coming year, and there are no changes from the past year.  Brummer was chosen President, Vice-President Bill Austin, Secretary Dan Woods and Treasurer Ken Vogt.

Four board members were elected to fill three-year terms.  Those chosen are Woods, Eric Zeller, Karen Luchtefeld and Austin.