Columbus wants to connect Chocolate Drop to town 

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

Officials speak to state about making subdivision walk-able 


COLUMBUS—The Town of Columbus is discussing with state officials how to connect Chocolate Drop Mountain to the rest of town with a walking trail.  

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Columbus Town Council met last week and heard from town manager Tim Barth who said he and other employees talked with state officials through the Hometown Strong program through the governor’s office.  

Barth said the Saluda Land Trust has acquired most of the top of Chocolate Drop, which was a failed subdivision that the town annexed into town limits a few years ago.  

“They want to make that an area where people can go and hike,” Barth said. “We thought it would be good if it were connected to town with a greenway trail.”  

Barth said state officials plan to get the town in touch with the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant and the town also plans to speak with the Polk County Parks and Recreation Department to see how to partner with the county.  

Councilwoman Margaret Metcalf asked since Chocolate Drop is further out of town would the town not need to consider extra costs for police enforcement. Barth said typically on greenway trails there’s not a lot of police activity.  

Metcalf asked if the town could close the trails at night.  

Barth said the town probably could.  

Councilman Robert Williamson mentioned the high school cross country trails, saying it could be connected.  

“It’s good to look into that,” Williamson said. “I’m sure you could collaborate with the school system and the county.”  

Columbus officials recently met with state officials through the Hometown Strong program, which was started by Governor Roy Cooper. The purpose is to get state officials in the field to understand issues that local, rural officials face. Others topics Columbus discussed with the state officials included storm water in town and the fact that the state contributes to a lot of the water in town. Barth said state officials said they would contact the North Carolina Department of Transportation about the town’s storm water issues.