River Trail North, a walking trail along Barren Fork River, can take a step forward.
McMinnville officials met Tuesday and approved a land lease agreement between the city and landowners Barry Barnes and Paul Michael Barnes. The agreement was obtained by city attorney Tim Pirtle after years of negotiation.
The private land lies in the path of a walking trail being established from Ramsey Park to Rocket Park along the river. River Trail East was the first section constructed, and River Trail North is the second section. In order to complete phase two, cooperation from the landowners in allowing access was required.
Vice Mayor Ben Newman expressed gratitude to the Barnes family for allowing the trail to extend across their land.
“I would like to thank the Barnes for entering into this with us,” said Newman. “This is a really good thing that has been worked on for a really long time. It’s part of the path we have had in our sights for a long time. We will continue around and try to get the rest of them.”
Mayor Jimmy Haley referred to the agreement as a “win-win for everyone” and thanked Pirtle for his efforts in hammering out the details.
The lease agreement is for 20 years and allows the city to cut a 10-foot wide nature trail that can be used by the public between daylight to one-half hour before dark. Along other stipulations within the lease, the city will pay $250 a year, provide upkeep for the trail, and place a memorial sign selected by the family.
The trail is a collaborative effort between the city, Greenway Council, Friends of the Greenway and numerous volunteers.
Work on the trail is coordinated by Wally Bigbee. If anyone would like to lend a helping hand in the next work session, contact Bigbee at 473-5968.