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Trail gets study, but lacks money
Questions remain for the proposed Deep Run Spur Trail

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Date published: 10/6/2012

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

Not everyone is sure the proposed Deep Run Spur Trail in Spotsylvania County will happen despite all of the planning for the project.

It's unclear how the proposed pedestrian and bicycle path from the Rappahannock River to Lee Drive in the Fredericksburg battlefield park would be funded and whether private property owners would let it run through their land.

"I think the trail idea is nice," said Greg Raines, who lives off Benchmark Road and attended a community meeting on the path this week. "The question to me is, Can you put it in without issues with the homeowners?"

George Graves, who owns property in the Bowman Center off State Route 2 and U.S. 17--which the trail may run through--said he likes the concept. "But I don't think it's going to work without some government influence to push the issue," he added.

The Spotsylvania Planning Department and the Virginia Tech Community Design Assistance Center presented possible routes for the trail at a community meeting Tuesday.

The Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative--a grassroots organization that has secured grants and volunteers for trail projects--is spearheading the proposal.

The Deep Run Spur Trail is part of about 100 miles of trails in the county's Trailways Master Plan, which supervisors approved in 2011.

The county Board of Supervisors hasn't dedicated any funding for the path, and some members don't want to. Four of the seven supervisors took office this year, and all ran as fiscal conservatives.

Board Chairwoman Ann Heidig, who was elected last year and is opposed to funding trails with county money, said she worries Spotsylvania would incur costs to maintain them.

"My concern has always been, once the trail is built and you turn it over to the county, what's it going to cost me?" she said. "For the number of people that might use it, is it something that is per capita worth the expense? All of that I think needs to be looked at as we move forward."

Spotsylvania Supervisor Paul Trampe, who is part of the board's conservative majority, said he hopes the Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative can fund the trail without taxpayer dollars. The group has done a "wonderful job" of that in the past, he said.


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