Easley officials discuss Doodle options

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Easley officials discussed the proposed Doodle Trail again at Monday night’s city council meeting after a local business owner asked them to work to bring the end of the trail into the downtown area instead of ending it at Fleetwood Drive.

“We are at a point where we’ve been waiting on Pickens to come up with finances,” mayor Larry Bagwell said. “Then we’ll be ready to put the blacktop down and let people start walking. Our first project is to get out there to the starting point. We have gotten a bid. The bid is in. We’ve got 60 days to act on it.

“We’ve been waiting, and I think we’re fixing to be ready. In the meantime, we can be working on how to get it downtown.”

Councilman Chris Mann said officials are moving “very quickly” on the project.

“Getting asphalt down is our first priority,” he said. “We promise you, this trail plans to come downtown. But I promise you that there’s been no delay on our part. We’re trying to get it going.”

“Then it will tie into downtown. Eventually we want it to tie into the recreation greenway.”

Councilman Kent Dykes said Easley officials have met with officials from Alta Planning and Design, the company contracted to come up with the trail’s master plan, and have come up with three proposals.

“It would be presumptuous for us to say one of these is the best without input from the citizens,” Dykes said.

City administrator Fox Simons said the city is moving at lightning speed on the project, with plans to finish the project in less than two years. The Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville took more than a decade to come together, he said.

Bagwell suggested the county may become involved in the Doodle project.

“As you well know, we have tried to get the county involved in the Doodle line (and) some in-kind work is possible, so this $1.9 million proposed for the project could be reduced,” Bagwell said. “The original plans were $4 million. Now it’s down to $1.9 million. If the county comes through, these numbers might come down.”