The Floyd County Commission agreed to the change while in caucus Tuesday afternoon prior to its regular meeting.
A portion of the pedestrian bike and walking path from downtown to Tolbert Park in Northwest Rome was originally planned to run along the side of the Rome Post Office off Martha Berry Boulevard to the west.
The realignment would place the trail behind the post office property and connect it with Coligni Way, the road that leads to the post office. The paved street would then become a part of the trail and lead to the rest of the new path.
“I don’t know why this route wasn’t chosen in the past,” Assistant County Manager Noah Simon said. “There are benefits as far as not having to deal with the post office on property and saving money on engineering and paving costs.”
Simon had asked the board to consider the route change at its previous meeting but was requested to do an elevation survey of the realignment to make sure it met the federal standards for inclines along public trails.
He came back to the County Commission Tuesday with news that the slope elevation would meet or exceed all standards. “If you are using federal money for something, it has to be something that everybody can use,” he said. “The realignment approval still means that we’ll have to make revisions to a number of the reports already submitted and that will take some time.”
The archaeological and environmental assessments for the trail were part of the $23,983.23 commitment that the county made in October as part of the $150,000 local match needed to keep the $400,000 federal grant for the project.
Any extra money spent on revising the reports would be offset by the savings from cutting down Coligni Way, according to Simon.
“I think this is a big move forward but there is still a lot of work to be done,” Simon said.
The next step will be the engineering of the trail, which Simon recommended be done by a paid consultant in order to avoid any issues concerning the local match.
In other actions, the County Commission:
l Approved the tipping fee increase at the Walker County Landfill that was recommended by the joint city-county Solid Waste Commission.
The 2.5-percent hike, which has also been approved by the Rome City Commission, will go into effect April 1 for all residential and industrial customers with the exception of Allied Waste Systems, which is the landfill’s biggest customer and has a special rate per a contract agreement
The hike in gate fees is seen as a way to help cover the projected long-term expenses of the landfill, including post-closure costs — the costs of monitoring the site for 30 years after it closes and is not collecting revenue.
Approved the purchase of a van for the Floyd County Prison that will replace one that was totaled in a wreck last year.
The insurance company of the driver at fault has paid the county $24,690 for the wrecked van, and the replacement price is $23,144 through a state contract bid from Allan Vigil Ford in Atlanta.