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Soddy-Daisy paving the way for Holly Park enhancements

The city of Soddy-Daisy wants to make Holly Park more accessible to everyone in the community with the addition of a paved, multi-use trail, hiking trails, additional parking and a canoe launch.

“It’s a beautiful place that needs to be utilized,” said City Manager Hardie Stulce. “We’re trying to expand it to make more things available to more people.”

Bryan Farlow, regional planner with the Southeast Tennessee Development District, is assisting the city in applying for the $150,000 maximum grant from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to make the proposed improvements in the park.

He said the city can match its required portion of the grant funds by using city workers and equipment to complete the work.

Compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the planned paved trail is 12 feet wide and almost a mile in length. Cars are prohibited on the trail, which is intended for motorized and nonmotorized pedestrian traffic such as electric wheelchairs, bikes, in-line skates and strollers, said Stulce.

The project will require little tree removal, according to him, as the trail will follow the roadbed from the TVA campground formerly located on the site.

“[The trail] will have minimal impact on the environment,” said Farlow, who thinks Soddy-Daisy has a good shot at the grant.

The last time the city received funding from TDEC was $250,000 for the first phase of Holly Park, which included land grading, excavation, installation of underground utilities and a parking lot. Through a partnership with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the city also added a boat ramp and dock for public use.

Stulce said it may be eight to 10 months before the city is informed if the grant request was successful, and the work should take six to eight weeks to complete if the funds are secured.

The next phase of the project, for which funding is included in the grant, will be a canoe launch and the creation of a soft spot on the bank for storing kayaks.

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