Section of bike trail set to get blacktop in eastern Clinton County

By Gary Huffenberger -

Clinton County Engineer Jeff Linkous enjoys a laugh at an appointment with county commissioners.

Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Parks Board has asked commissioners for $32,000 so the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail can be paved with asphalt from Sabina to North Borum Road on the county’s eastern edge.

Presently, that section of the walking and biking trail is covered by gravel topped by fine stone.

The Parks Board has about $96,780 to put toward the paving project. If commissioners award the requested additional funds, then paving can reach all the way to Borum Road and the total project would be about $128,782 (including a small paved parking lot at the Borum Road end-point).

Within Clinton County, the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail stretches from Melvin Road which is east of Wilmington to Borum Road, via the town of Sabina. For the most part, the course of the trail follows an abandoned railroad corridor.

Presently, about 2½ miles in the middle of the trail route is paved, from Sabina Farmers Exchange in Sabina westward to Reesville.

If the Sabina to Borum Road section does get paved this fall, the portion from Reesville (State Route 72) westward to Melvin Road would remain a stone path and would need new grant funds before it too gets paved to finish the blacktop for the entire 7.1-miles Clinton County leg of the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail.

Clinton County Engineer Jeff Linkous accompanied Clinton County Parks Board member Bob Johnson for the appointment with county commissioners.

At one point in the discussion Linkous said of the bike path, “A lot of it’s under the shade; it’s a beautiful trail. It’s almost got a canopy in some areas.”

The Clinton County Trails Coalition (formerly Rails-to-Trails) has set aside money toward the mowing and maintenance of the trail, said Linkous.

Clinton County Commissioners President Brenda K. Woods asked Linkous when the west end between State Route 72 and Melvin Road might also be paved. That’s when Linkous indicated that would take another grant, and he also mentioned there is more planning involved because of a longer-term idea to extend the trail from Melvin Road to Lowes Drive in Wilmington.

During the discussion about the Parks Board request, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said he would like to see in writing a summary that a citizen’s water drainage complaint around State Route 72 is not related to construction of the trail.

Linkous said a Clinton Soil and Water Conservation District staffer has stated the trail construction added nothing to an existing drainage problem.

The official opening of the Clinton County portion of the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail was held in April 2017.

In other county business Wednesday, commissioners accepted a $30,510 bid for county-owned Dwiggins Road land formerly used as a site for a now-decommissioned and dismantled communications tower.

At a separate appointment, Melody Waldmann of the Clinton County Regional Airport Authority met with commissioners regarding a pending $65,628 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) grant.

The funds will go to improve the runway lighting at Clinton Field Airport on Curry Road, plus pay for a wildlife study required periodically.

The grant breakdown consists of $59,065 from the FFA, a state share of $3,281, and a local match of $3,282.

She reported the county airport hangars are full, and the flight school at the airport will soon graduate two pilots.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768. image

Clinton County Engineer Jeff Linkous enjoys a laugh at an appointment with county commissioners. County Engineer Jeff Linkous enjoys a laugh at an appointment with county commissioners. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger