HIGH POINT — Supporters of a long-planned greenway project in High Point have gotten a boost from the City Council.
A proposed agreement with the nonprofit Southwest Renewal Foundation calls for the use of $50,000 in city funds in acquiring purchase options for property interests for the first three phases of the proposed trail — a 3.9-mile loop beginning and ending near the city’s bus terminal downtown.
The council included a $50,000 line item for the foundation when it adopted the city’s budget in June, contingent on approval of an agreement governing how the money will be used.
The foundation will identify tracts for the greenway, submit them to the city for review and then donate them to the city once purchased.
The purchases could be in the form of easements or real property.
The vote was 7-2, with council members Wesley Hudson and Victor Jones opposed.
“We already have a policy for how to give nonprofit organizations allocations from the city,” Hudson said. “We’re ignoring the policy that we created. For some reason, we’re doing that. I don’t know what word you want to use — favors for friends? If we want to put $50,000 to a greenway, give it to parks and rec. We’re setting a bad precedent by giving a nonprofit organization money as a line item in our budget.”
Councilwoman Monica Peters, who requested the funding in the budget, said the foundation will give the acquisitions to the city.
She argued that the foundation is different from most other nonprofits that get city funds.
Officials said the plan for the southwest greenway fits in with the city’s recently adopted overall greenway master plan, which sets out priorities for future trails.
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