New Trail Extension Causes Concern Among Columbia Residents

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COLUMBIA - More than 60 people attended a meeting for the County House Trail extension project in Columbia to voice their opinions Thursday evening.

The County House trail currently ends at the Stadium/College Park intersection. Columbia Public Works said it wants to extend the trail about 4,300 feet to Rollins Avenue. 

The new trail would run along many residents' yards and could potentially take away some of the trees. The city owns the land. 

Thursday's meeting was the first opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the project. Some people oppose the project because of how the trail may invade their privacy. 

"When I learned that trees would go, the trees that buffer us from the swim club and that street, and that basically the trail would be then running down the foot of my driveway, that was a little concerning," said Karen Pasley, a resident of the area where the trail would be put in place. 

Others didn't find a problem with the trail being put in place and would be willing to give up a little land. 

"I'm absolutely in favor of it. I think it's a judicious use of funds, it will open up a really pretty area to the public and I'm a heavy trail user in other areas of the city so I don't think that I could advance a pretty good argument that I shouldn't have one in my own backyard," said resident Scott Lincoln.

Columbia Public Works will compile all comments before taking the issue to the city council. 

The project's estimated cost is $445,000, and construction is scheduled to begin in fall of 2015.