By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — Pending final approval, the Kokosing Gap Trail will soon be rerouted around Creno's parking lot.
Mayor Richard Mavis told city council members on Monday that a Nature Works project at Ariel-Foundation Park cannot be done, so with the verbal approval of Nature Works officials, the bike path reroute will be substituted.
Instead of reaching South Main Street via Creno's parking lot, the bike path will be extended north of the parking lot and tie into the bike path. Users can then turn left toward South Main Street and continue on the bike path, or they can turn right, cross the bridge and enter town.
Safety-service Director Joel Daniels anticipates the $30,000 project will be completed this year. Nature Works officials must give their formal approval, and city council must approve the project and matching funds.
The original project involved construction of a fence along the path on East Foundation Lake. City Engineer Brian Ball determined there is not enough space between the path and the lake to install posts. He is working on another solution that includes placing logs, rock and mortar to stabilize the earth.
Councilwoman Nancy Vail was concerned that this solution would not alleviate the safety issue that was council's original reason to install the fence. “For people who are neglecting the safety of their children, it's an issue,” Mavis said. “So is the bike path and every sidewalk.”
This photo shows how the Kokosing Gap Trail will be rerouted to avoid using Creno's parking lot.
Photo courtesy of the city's engineering department
Regarding traffic on Edgewood Road, David Pressler told council members he wants to “try and keep this on your minds and see if we can get some movement and long-term solutions.”
Pressler, an Edgewood Road resident for 25 years, said the traffic has doubled in that time. “It's not designed as a crossover to Coshocton Avenue,” he said.
“In the long term, I would urge council and other bodies to look for other ways to get around,” he said, citing as an example the much-talked-about Eastern Star Road route. “If we don't have a plan, we don't do anything.”
Pressler said he favors the installation of speed bumps on Edgewood, saying that it is “part of the answer to make it annoying so you don't want to go that way.”
“If the tax levy is passed, I've been told that Eastern Star Road is on the list [of projects],” Vail told Pressler. “There are new plans and we are going to be respectful of property owners.”
The legislative session was short, with council addressing three resolutions:
*Gave a first reading to legislation accepting the recommendations of the Knox County Tax Incentive Review Council regarding tax abatements
*Appropriated $964.61 from the Foundation Park Conservancy for the Rastin Challenge to the police equipment account
*Authorized the auditor to transfer funds between accounts
Councilman John Francis read two proclamations:
*National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week Sept. 10-17
*Constitution Week Sept. 17-23
Mavis presented a Volunteer of the Year Award to John Owens. Owens is one of five volunteers receiving the award this year. He was unable to be present when Mavis honored the other recipients at the Sept. 1 First Friday.
Mayor Richard Mavis, left, presented a Volunteer of the Year Award to John Owens. Owens is one of five volunteers honored for their service to the city.
KP photo by Cheryl Splain