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City wants to move Ecusta trailhead from Busy Bend to Main Street

The city of Hendersonville wants to move the starting spot of the Ecusta Trail from Kanuga Road to a city-owned lot on South Main Street.

The City Council on Thursday night voted unanimously to ask the county Rails to Trails Advisory Committee to recommend the change to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, which manages the rail corridor project under a 100-year lease with landowner Conserving Carolina.

The resolution in support of moving the trailhead east says "there is limited access to public parking and restrooms at Kanuga Road" and points out that the city is "working with NCDOT to integrate critical bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure into the South Main Street/White Street improvement projects." By adopting the resolution the council also agreed to commit up to $46,000 for engineering, permitting and design of the extended section of the Ecusta Trail.

The good news on the funding front for the trail keeps on coming. The eastward extension got a boost on Monday when the boards of Conserving Carolina and the Friends of Ecusta Trail voted to devote $600,000 in grant money to pay for engineering and construction from Kanuga Road to Main Street. That amount should be enough to cover the cost of the segment, Christopher Todd, the county's director of business and community development, told county commissioners Monday night.

The city is also seeking a federal grant to build the so-called Mud Creek Trail that would connect the Ecusta Trail and the Oklawaha Trail at Jackson Park.

Finally, the City Council also voted unanimously to endorse the application by the city of Brevard for a federal RAISE grant (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) to fund construction of the western end of the Ecusta Trail.