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Walking trail coming to Greensboro

Greensboro could soon be getting just a little bit healthier, as $100,000 worth of recreational walking trail is on its way to the city.

At their Tuesday night meeting, the Greensboro City Council unanimously approved a resolution appropriating the $20,000 match necessary to secure an $80,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

The grant will provide for a walking trail to be built on a multiple-acre section of land just off state Highway 25 north of the city. The trail will feature landscaping, plenty of lighting, and several park benches.

“Basically,” said city clerk Lorrie Cook, “it will be a walking trail park.”

Cook said the trail would be a great resource for the city, as currently Greensboro residents have nothing like it available.

“Right now,” she said, “we don’t really have a place for people to go to walk.”

Cook added that the trail, by encouraging Greensboro to get out and exercise, could make a difference in the health of many residents.

In other news from the Tuesday night City Council meeting:

** Like many communities across the Black Belt, Greensboro is taking steps to deal with the problem of unsightly dilapidated houses and abandoned buildings.

The city’s Abatement Board, the body of city government responsible for dealing with the problem, will become active again after a long period of inactivity.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints about different properties,” Cook said Wednesday.

“We have a problem,” said mayor J.B. Washington at the Tuesday meeting, “with people not cleaning up their property, houses that are abandoned or falling in, and properties overgrowing with weeds and trash.”

The Board will be made up of one member from each of the city’s five Council districts, who will be responsible for identifying and reporting properties which are not being kept up to code. From there the Abatement Board and Council will take steps to correct the problem.

Washington said that the issue was especially important with summer fast approaching.

“The snakes and rats are coming out,” he said.

Appointments to the Abatement Board will be made at a later date.

** Eyesore properties aren’t the only problem the Council chose to begin cracking down on during Tuesday’s meetings. According to Washington, the city has begun receiving a number of complaints about the community’s dogs.

The complaints are concerned, he said, with neighborhood dogs that are either loosely tied up or fenced-in despite a long-time city ordinance which “clearly states,” according to Cook, that dogs of a breed with a “vicious propensity” must be kept in a cage with a ceiling. These breeds include pit bulls and rottweilers.

Although there have not yet been any attacks, the Council agreed that there was a problem (Council member Valada Paige Banks said she had seen one resident walking such a dog down Main St.), and elected to publicize the ordinance in the city paper and instruct the Police Department to begin enforcing the ordinance more forcefully.

** Each of the city’s elementary school libraries were granted donations of $2500. Representatives from both schools thanked the council for their generosity.