ALABAMA SCENIC RIVER TRAIL
Phenix City, Al.
May 6, 2013
Those in attendance were:
Linda Vice Jerry Sailors
Teresa Ward Billy Houston
Jan Bell David Quinney
George Areno Shaun Culligan
Jim Felder Kelli Roberts
Jennifer Lowman Hugh Stump
Linda Vice called the meeting to order in Fred’s absence and Shaun Culligan led us in prayer. Jim gave an update on Fred.
Minutes of the last quarterly meeting were reviewed and approved by appropriate motion.
George gave the financial report. We had $38,791 in income for April. We currently have $21,768 in payroll and $32,864 in the general fund and we are in balance.
Linda Vice introduced Jan Bell, our new board member.
Jim combined 5 open grants into one large ‘mega grant’ . Some things were done before we got to them, such as Hatchett and Weogufka. The $100,000 signage grant from ALDOT should end up being $150,000. Grant report provided. We should know within a week if we will have money for October, otherwise we will have to wait until next year.
Shaun Culligan gave a power point presentation about the brand new whitewater course which will open 5/25/13. At 2.5 miles it is the longest urban whitewater course in the nation. Two dams were taken down and the area is back to it’s natural state. People are fishing and natural flowers are present. There is an outfitter on both the Alabama and Georgia sides of the river for rafting, with (NOC) Nantahala Outdoor Center being the Georgia outfitter. The same man who designed the Ocoee course for the Olympics designed this course. $24-26 million has been spent just on the river. The quality of life in the area has improved. Everything done has been aesthetically pleasing and the old mill has been turned into condos.
It cost $6 million to re-do the pedestrian bridge for on-lookers. The riverwalk has been extended and will continue to be. A campground may be added later. A hotel/conference center has been added and Troy University has a branch. A water resource center is coming. 250 boy scouts per week are using the course. There is year round water, which is run by the Army Corps of Engineers.
We will be receiving a check to buy trailers, 100 kayaks, and hopefully 50 more next year, to be placed at all 9 RC&D offices throughout the state for paddling for the underprivileged through the National Park Service. A grant will provide the paddles and PFD’s. People will receive training and then take the kids out to teach safety, clean ups, and projects.
Things did not work out for us to be a part of the Alabama Sports Festival this year but we will be prepared for next year.
Jim has spent some time in Dale County checking out the Choctawhachee River. It is a great area with multiple destinations. You can put in the river and paddle 100 miles straight to the gulf.
Billy Houston with Tri-Rivers in the Eufaula area has their first group coming in on June 8. People are helping to make it a canoe trail. The Clean Water Partnership will be cleaning up Mill Creek and will get projects on it.
Membership issues were tabled until a later time.
Jim reported that the Coosa Whitewater Festival is coming up soon. Hatchet Creek is having their first ever festival and this rural area badly needs tourism and development. Roger Vines received a grant to cover the costs. The Gadsden event on Wills Creek is scheduled for June 8&9 and includes a wine tasting. We currently have no fall plans on the calendar.
We had some money left over from here and there that was used to get more signs installed. The signs have our logo, NRT, and leave it better than you found it. More signs need to be installed in the Delta.
OTHER NEW BUSINESS
Kelli Roberts told us about the world’s widest yard sale – you read it correctly – WIDEST – in the Black Belt area. It was started last year and is growing. It runs from Mississippi to Georgia and will be held this year from May 31-June 2.
Jerry Sailors reported that CARIA’s water recreation seminar was disappointing as it ended up being a gripe session against the Army Corps of Engineers. Montgomery recently hosted an iron man with 200 people who swam, biked, and ran. They hope this festival grows.
There are still plans for the riverboat in South Alabama. They are presently working on re-equipping a boat. There was a brief discussion about a paddleboat from Appalachicola, Fl. To Phenix City, Al.
As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned and the group carpooled to the Riverwalk to view the new whitewater area, which was quite impressive.
Teresa G. Ward