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Mills River kills southern segment of NC 280 greenway

The Mills River Town Council on Thursday essentially killed a greenway along N.C. 280 from N.C. 191 to the Transylvania County line, deciding instead to concentrate the town’s efforts on a trail going north toward the French Broad River near Broadpoint industrial park.

The council’s vote came after a presentation by Town Manager Jeff Wells about various options for multi-use paths in Mills River, including segments that would connect with bicycle lanes that are part of a widening of N.C. 191 from Mountain Road to N.C. 280.

“We’re not going to support it,” Councilman Wayne Carland declared of a southern segment of an N.C. 280 greenway, triggering applause from residents who opposed the greenway.

 “I can tell you that I think I can safely say that most of the concern about the project does fall in that area of town from the former Food Lion site down to the county line,” Wells told the board. “And it makes perfect sense. That’s the area where people live. There’s only one residential driveway all the way up to the airport. But south of that it’s very different. That’s where people live and they have a lot of concerns about a path that would go down in that direction.”

The town council agreed tentatively to consider a greenway from N.C. 191 to the Broadpoint area, either along N.C. 191 or along an old road right of way.