I hope every one had a great holiday season. For those that were in Emerald Isle, you already know that the weather was like spring. I wish the rest of you could have been here.
The new Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee had several organizational meetings late last year, and it will be a real asset to the community. I went to several of the meetings and was impressed with the Committee's enthusiasm. The Committee selected Bill Trahman as Chairman (252-354-4801 firstname.lastname@example.org), and Bob Hines (252-354-2362 email@example.com) as Vice Chairman. Most of the Committee members did not previously know each other, which indicates the group will be in contact with many different parts of the community. The other members are Linda McGowen, Rosalie Ruegg, Mark Brennesholtz, Owen Kelly, Mary Woodard, Mary Elesha-Adams, Ed Johnson, Chris Boyd and Debbie Kulhawik. Alesia Sanderson, Director of Parks and Recreation, is the Town contact for the Committee. I am sure all of them will be anxious to hear your comments.
As I am sure you have noticed, sidewalks were installed last year on the north side of Highway 58 from Jordan's east for several blocks. A large portion of this expense was covered by a Grant. The Town of Emerald Isle has received Grants to cover most of the expense for additional sidewalks and a bike trail from Merchants Park to Coast Guard Road. It is anticipated that the additional sidewalks and bike trail will be completed this spring.
Now back to the Committee. As the Town proceeds with these projects, the Town will be seeking input from the Committee as to the design of both of these projects. There is never enough money to do everything in these projects, but it is hoped that the Committee over time will be able to generate funds through donations, fund raisers, etc to provide extras such as benches, bike racks, etc. They also plan to promote periodic walking and cycling events for all levels. They will use local events such as the St. Patrick's Festival on March 13th to inform citizens and visitors of the benefits of cycling and walking as a form of exercise; and steps to take to make biking and walking a safe experience. Beginning in February, the committee will also sponsor monthly “Wheels around Town” group bike outings. Talk to one of the Committee members, and see how you can get involved.
The next Blood Drive will be January 30, 2004 at Town Hall from 2 - 7 PM. Please plan to give. Last fall, we received an award from the Red Cross for the high level of participation that we have had at our Blood Drives. Help us keep up the good work.