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County to form Ecusta Trail stakeholder advisory committee

Henderson County commissioners voted on Monday to form a Stakeholder Advisory Committee to monitor the design, construction and operation of the Ecusta Trail but not before ensuring the county would control a majority of the appointments and appoint the chair.

The recommendation to form the committee originally would have had the Board of Commissioners appoint three members of a seven-member board with the other four appointments made by the city of Hendersonville, the town of Laurel Park, Conserving Carolina and Friends of Ecusta Trail. At the urging of Commissioner Daniel Andreotta, the board increased the size to nine members, five of whom will be appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The commissioners had already given themselves the authority to appoint the chair and, at the suggestion of Commissioner Michael Edney, decided on Monday night that it would need to approve the bylaws once they're drafted and sent to the board.

Andreotta said he's heard nothing but "all positive excitement" about the 20-mile greenway connecting Hendersonville and Brevard but thought a project of that magnitude would benefit from an advisory board.

“This is not a proposed board to own or operate anything," Chairman Bill Lapsley said. "It’s an advisory board just like the recreation advisory board or others.”