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Monterey Alderman Has Keen Interest In Rejoining Rail Trail Authority

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Monterey Alderman Has Keen Interest In Rejoining Rail Trail Authority

Monterey Alderman Bill Wiggins said he is interested in the town rejoining the Tennessee Central Rail Trail Authority.

Monterey was one of the first signatures that formed the group but left the authority several years ago. Wiggins said Dr. Charles Womack approached him about the matter during a Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority Board meeting.

“I would like to see us honor that original commitment,” Wiggins said. “Those goals are still very much in reach. It takes a lot of work, but I would love to see the town of Monterey doing their part.”

Wiggins said he would welcome a presentation to the Board of Aldermen from the rail trail on how rejoining would look. The city of Cookeville, Algood and Putnam County currently govern the authority.

“I’m looking at the economic development phase of this and what has happened in other areas where they were committed to building a rail trail similar to this, and the people it attracted,” Wiggins said. “People came in with fat wallets. They spend money. They might even relocate, but for sure, they can come and enjoy what we have to offer along such a majestic trail.”

The group creates and manages the rail trial that stretches from the Cookeville Depot to Walter L. Bilbrey Memorial Park in Algood. The authority’s goal is to one day connect Monterey and Baxter to the paved walkway that follows the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority railroad.

“Since Monterey has pulled out of the authority, Monterey has been very energetic,” Wiggins said. “In the early going, Monterey was committed for the area between Satterfield Drive and initially to what was called lovingly the Sand Pit down by the little league field. But, Monterey has expanded that, and now, we have trailed out from Oak Street all the way to Crossville Street, and we’ve been successful in getting grant money to extend that trail over the tracks.”


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