We like it. That’s our short response to the proposal for construction of a welcome center at the New Albany trailhead of the recently opened Tanglefoot Trail.
Architect William Mills and Sam Creekmore of Creekmore Landscaping have presented a plan to the New Albany Board of Aldermen to build a welcome center just to the northeast of the Union County Library.
Putting the welcome center there would eliminate the street that runs from near the viaduct on Main Street to the library and then crosses the trail. That would allow for expansion of the parking lot that serves the library and the new trailhead by 20 spaces.
An added bonus in the proposal would revamp the city owned parking lot with landscaping and a sidewalk on Carter Avenue to connect the whole area to Main Street and downtown. The project includes covering the unsightly ditch that runs alongside the current city lot.
Mayor Tim Kent said the project likely would cost between $300,000 and $500,000, with about $150,000 for the trailhead building. The building would include an indoor meeting area, restrooms and an attractive outdoor area.
He said no public money is currently available for the project, but grant money may become available to help with the building and some city tourism money will be freed up when the last $64,000 payment on the Civic Center is paid in January.
We think the plan has a lot of merit, both for serving the thousands of expected Tanglefoot Trail users, and for enhancing our downtown with attractive parking and green space.
Let’s go for it.