City commission delays action on mountain bike trail

In a split vote, Frankfort city commissioners Monday put the brakes on a possible halt of construction of a mountain bike trail near the Civil War battle site of Fort Hill. The commission voted 3-2 to remove the item from Monday’s agenda, but commissioners and citizens still had plenty to say about the controversy during […]

Despite recently opting for a breather on the question of whether to stop construction of a mountain bike trail near the Civil War battle site of Fort Hill, Frankfort city commissioners are geared up for more discussion and a possible vote Monday during their monthly work session.

Commissioners will meet Monday at 5 p.m. in the City Hall conference room for the working meeting, typically a casual meeting reserved for discussion of topics to be voted on later. However, the agenda says commissioners may take action on whether to allow construction to proceed on the multiuse trail in Leslie Morris Park, in which sits the earthenwork site of Fort Hill.

The topic has sparked heated debate among the commissioners at their previous meetings and drew a packed commission chambers — along with more than three hours of public comment — at the May 20 meeting.

Before public comment even began at that meeting, though, commissioners voted 3-2 to remove the item from the agenda indefinitely. 

Several walking trails, all constructed by Boy Scouts, already wind through the 120 acres of forest below Fort Hill’s apex, where the 12-acre grass encampment overlooks the city. The difference between the multiuse trails and the current walking trails appears to be the concern that the non-motorized bikes could damage the historic site and roads leading to it in ways that foot traffic would not.

Commissioners have previously flirted with placing a moratorium on the construction of the trails, and some have also hinted at restricting them to only hiking.

Citizens are encouraged to attend Monday's meeting and make comments.

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