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From the Mayor’s Desk: Legacy Trail is Back Open, Updates on the Middle Fork Greenway

Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on the reopening of the Legacy Trail, Middle Fork Greenway and Blowing Rock TDA Revenues.

Legacy Trail – is now back open!! Handrails and signage are up and approved by the League Of Municipalities. Thanks to our Public Works Staff for completing this project for approximately $700. Thanks to our BR citizens for being patient while we worked through logistics reopening the stairway.
Sunset/Main – intersection model – McGill has provided staff this week with an overlay of the intersection of Sunset/Main with pedestals and crosswalks. We will have complete cost numbers early in March from both the DOT and McGill. The council will be looking at different options for mastheads and lighted crosswalk signage. It is possible this may become reality by summer of 2020.
North Main Sidewalk – The council is going to review the installation of sidewalks on north main connecting to the new sidewalk to bass lake. The council is awaiting bids to make a final decision. The first phase will run from El Rincon to 221. The sidewalk in front of Winkler’s property will be installed by the property owner.
Middle Fork Greenway – In February, Town Staff participated in an MFG project progress meeting. The engineering firm of Withers Ravenel is currently awaiting a final permit from the National Park Service with regards to an archaeological survey. Once this permit is obtained, the preliminary engineering and site plan can begin. We anticipate the permit within the next few weeks. Withers Ravenel is currently planning on presenting an update to Council in the May time frame.   

Tourism Development Authority – through December 2019 TDA had excellent numbers to report. The results are more evidence that the TDA continues to have historical financial results. December 2019 was 14.8% higher than December 2018, and 25% higher than December 2017. For the year to date through December TDA revenues are 10.7% higher than year to date 2018 and 17% higher than year to date 2017. Overall the TDA has recorded 8 consecutive months of historical revenues.

Parking and Downtown Transportation – Doug Matheson and Shane Fox have been working closely with Appalcart over the past months revising pick up locations and extending hours of operation around town. AppalCart transport should begin Memorial Day weekend. In addition, the council is looking at options for parking management and areas for additional parking for the near future. 

A photo in Blowing Rock from the late 1940s. It appears that parking issues are not new to Blowing Rock.
High Country Council of Government and Doug Matheson – In February Mr. Doug Matheson was nominated and elected to the High Country Council of Government’s Executive Board as Secretary. Doug’s position as Secretary also has a seat on the Advisory Committee, and he will serve as an advisor to the full Executive Board with regards to agenda items.