The Winder City Council, in a called meeting Thursday, March 19, approved a design and consultant agreement for the future multi-purpose walking trail connecting Fort Yargo State Park with city-owned property near downtown.

Under the agreement, the PATH Foundation will provide design, landscape architecture, civil engineering, trail branding and signage, construction bid assistance and construction management among other tasks for $78,700.

The roughly 1-mile-long, 10-footwide trail will connect city owned property at 41 Lee St., a planned parking lot, with the visitor’s center at Fort Yargo. The city has been awarded a $1 million state grant to complete the trail, which was one of 14 projects across the state selected by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The city has spent more than $750,000 in land purchases for the trail and pledged to match up to $337,000 toward its construction.

Thursday’s meeting occurred under extraordinary circumstances as the city, like the rest of the country and the world, grapples with ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The meeting was conducted via teleconference.

The council also held a brief discussion on downtown parking, as councilman Chris Akins proposed the creation of a committee to discuss various parking zones and stipulations. Ideas briefly suggested included the city marking some spots for short-term parking in order for people needing run errands in the downtown area to more easily find parking.

The council spent the bulk of the meeting discussing a draft of proposed changes to the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance. That discussion included input from several residents who were in on the call. A final draft will like be voted on for first reading next month.

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