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East Spencer receives $30,500 Carolina Thread Trail grant

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — The town of East Spencer was recently awarded a $30,500 Carolina Thread Trail grant to be used to build the first phase of a trail proposed in the Rowan County Carolina Thread Trail plan.

The trail will lead into and through Royal Giants Park. It will connect with the town of Spencer via the Andrews Street overpass, East Spencer officials said.

The Carolina Thread Trail will reach 15 counties in two states and encompass about 1,500 miles of greenways and other pathways.

Talk of the Thread Trail has been ongoing since about 2007. In December 2012, the town of East Spencer signed a resolution of support for the trail.

Another application filed by East Spencer with the N.C. Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Authority, if funded, will provide other funds needed to complete the project.

“This grant will help us achieve two important goals – redevelopment of Royal Giants Park and our first phase of the Carolina Thread Trail,” said Mayor Barbara Mallett.

Mallett said the town is appreciative to the Thread Trail Foundation, all sponsors, partners and friends who are helping the town move forward with the redevelopment of Royal Giants Park and the Carolina Thread Trail.

“Fitness and healthy living are priority goals for our town. This trail and the redevelopment of the park will provide great opportunities for walking, bicycling and healthy living. These are the goals that have driven us to pursue these projects and the necessary funding,” she said.

Award decisions from the PARTF Authority are expected in May. If all goes well, the project could be under construction this fall.

Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. said further planning and design will get underway in the spring.

Last May, the town received $47,000 from the Robertson Family Foundation to help with Royal Giants Park renovations. In August, the town received  $30,000 from the Stanback Foundation to help with Phase I of the park project. The town has also received $20,000 and $10,000 from the county and the F&M Bank Foundation, respectively, for the park.

In July, the town announced it had received $36,000 collectively with the town of Spencer from the N.C. Department of Transportation for a pedestrian and bicycle planning grant.

Also in July, the town received a N.C. Catalyst Grant to renovate dilapidated homes and provide emergency repairs to other homes.

In mid-January, the town was awarded a $2.4 million grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to rehabilitate its water and sewer system.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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