WASHINGTONVILLE - It's a tribute to the Columbiana County parks board and Allan Chamberlain's legacy, County Commissioner Mike Halleck said at the bike trail ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon.
"I'm happy for the county, it's another venue for the county, how beautiful this county is from the outside," Halleck said.
Parks district Chairwoman Dottie Betz said dedicating the northern-most part of the 12.5-mile Greenway Trail is "a very exciting moment for the Columbiana County Parks District ... we've been working on this particular section since October of 2001 ..."
The north-to-south trail concludes at Union Street about a half a block short of state Route 14 in Washingtonville and Council President Ramona Custer said, "They've done a beautiful job. We are very honored for what everybody has done ... it has bettered our community."
Betz said the plans are to run the trail from Lisbon to East liverpool.
"We have a plan in place," she said, "it's going to take a while."
Coordination by Lisbon, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the townships are needed, she said.
"It's going to be a 'share the road' concept," she said.
Salem Township Trustee Chairman Ray Heddleson said, "I think it's good for the community, I'd like to thank all the people who donated money."
In her remarks, Betz said the bike trail began with a $2,000 donation from Chamberlain while NiSource Midstream Services, a Columbia Pipeline Group company, donated $50,000 for the final two miles in the segment from High Street in Leetonia to Union Street in Washingtonville.
"Extending the bike trail closer to the Mahoning County line has been a goal of ours for some time," said Betz.
NiSource Midstream Services Chief Operating Officer Chad Zamarin said, "Our Ohio roots date more than 100 years. This area is home to us and many of our employees.
"We are investing in the Mahoning Valley and committed to lending our support, whether it is through the economic development and jobs that come from our local business activities, or through projects like the Greenway Bike Trail or helping feed the hungry by assisting the local food bank."
Federal money in the form of $462,000 from ODOT and $120,355 from the Clean Ohio Trails fund helped with engineering and additional construction funds, she said, noting then-director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Sean Logan, helped.
The Patrick Foundation donated $7,000; the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway Coalition pitched in with $8,000 to acquire property while presenting county commissioners and the parks district with a plaque honoring "their support, promotion and construction of a public trail system" in the county.
Betz said they hope to complete the "Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway Trail" but it depends in cooperation from the state to the townships.
Betz also noted the paving for the section was done by R.T. Vernal, a local contractor from North Lima.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com