Jun. 30—Business and community leaders from Calhoun County gathered at McClellan Tuesday night to hold informal introductions and learn more about the McClellan Development Authority's many projects.
The MDA approved $65,000 of work to build a fishing and hiking trail around Yahou Lake during a called meeting only a half-hour before the gathering began at Monteith Amphitheater. Part of the evening was dedicated to introducing local dignitaries — including members of the Anniston City Council, Calhoun County Commission, county Economic Development Council and others — to the newly renovated Monteith Amphitheater and Event Center, which MDA members Joe Harrington and Willie Duncan opened with Duncan's son, Corey. Northeast Alabama jazz band Tad of Jazz performed cover versions of funk oldies and folks ate catered hors d'oeuvres from Classic on Noble.
The MDA met in executive session, but board member Freeman Fite confirmed during the meet-and-greet that the trail would connect with Yahou Lake. Members of the authority have told The Star in recent years that a project to clean the lake has been successfully completed.
"We've built around 9 and a half miles of hiking and biking trails so far, and all but two are open for walkers and hikers, as well as bikes," Fite told people gathered in the Monteith's main ballroom.
Not including bike race months, he said, the area pulls in between 2,000 and 2,500 people per month.
"We're planning to do another 7-and-a-quarter miles extending from where we are all the way to Yahou Lake," he added, including the newly approved addition.
Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.