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Scott Park trail to be paved

Posted: November 16, 2017 5:10 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

The city’s next trail-related project will be to pave the walking trail at Scott Park.

Not to be confused with the park’s inner competition-style running track, the walking trail hugs Scott’s tree line, running behind tennis courts and through a portion of open area near Battleship Road past some volleyball courts.

City Planner Shawn Putnam, who has been the lead city staff member working on a county-wide greenway plan, told council on Tuesday that Camden is submitting two applications to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) for federal grants, the first of which would cover the rehabilitation of the Scott Park trail.

“It’s a dirt trail; it’s difficult to maintain. In some areas, the width of the trail varies from 8 feet down to 18 inches, depending on where you are. It’s very heavily used and is in pretty tough shape,” Putnam said. “So, the first letter of intent we sent was to fix that by proposing to reconstruct it as a (uniform) 8-foot-wide asphalt trail.”

He said there are two reasons to choose asphalt for the trail’s new surface. First, it would be easier to connect to the recently opened Sweet Gum Trail, which connects Scott Park to Woodward Park.

“It’s easier to connect trails if they’re the same materials,” Putnam said, as opposed to connecting a rubberized surface -- such as the one at Kendall Park -- to an asphalt surface, like Sweet Gum Trail’s.

Putnam said staff has not priced out the possibility of installing a rubberized surface at Scott Park, but noted that the trail at Kendall Park is “significantly narrower” at about 5 to 6 feet wide versus Scott’s proposed 8-foot width.

In answering questions from Councilman Stephen Smoak and Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford, he also said asphalt makes it easier to make the trail American with Disabilities Act compliant, whereas a rubberized surface may be more difficult for wheelchair users and bicycle riders.

Councilman Jeffrey Graham noted that while some walkers and runners enjoy the cushioning provided by Kendall’s rubberized surface trail, others do not because it does not mimic the road or natural surfaces they would run on in competition.

Putnam said the current Scott Park trail is approximately 1 mile in length, but that could change if the city decides to reroute the trail in some way. He said that may be necessary due to flooding issues in the center of the park.

The second grant application is for a trail that would connect Ehrenclou Drive to the proposed lagoon park on a section of the city’s former water treatment plant. Putnam said the city is thinking of installing that trail along a sewer easement and that staff has been speaking with the lagoon park’s designers.

“That would most likely be asphalt or concrete due to soil conditions,” Putnam said, adding that the trail would likely start at or near the revamped Ehrenclou Drive/York Street intersection across from Camden High School. “It’s unlikely that we would get both (grants), but we wanted to just go ahead and put it out there so that PRT would know that we are really interested.”

Putnam said the grants would require 20 percent matching funds from the city and that if PRT turned down one of the grants this year, the city would be allowed to reapply next year.

Graham said that as the city continues to work on similar enhancements, it may want to think about installing 911 call boxes or buttons inside city parks, especially for use at night. Drakeford and Councilwoman Deborah Davis also both asked about lighting along the trails. Putnam said council should expect a request for funding to install lighting this coming spring.

In other business Tuesday, council:

• proclaimed Nov. 25 as Small Business Saturday;

• proclaimed November as National Hospice Palliative Care Month; and

• unanimously passed first reading of an ordinance authorizing the purchase of 718 York St.

Also, several members of council said Vintage Market Days at City Rhame Arena appeared to have been quite successful. The event took place Oct. 27-29.

Davis said in her nine years as manager of Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County’s ReStore, she has never seen as many new faces come into Camden for one event as Vintage Market Days.

“And they said they intend to come back in the spring,” she said.

Drakeford said many people attending the three-day event asked for directions to the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce so they could get maps of the area and tour the city. Councilwoman Joanna Craig said she spoke to several vendors who told her they had never seen “anything like it,” referring to people waiting at the door for them to open.

On a separate note, Smoak thanked city staff and contractors for completing or nearing completion on infrastructure projects in the historic district and adjacent parts of the city.

“I’ve noticed it’s a relief and welcome sight,” Smoak said of how his neighbors are reacting.

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