EASLEY—An eight mile stretch of the Pickens Railway between the cities of Pickens and Easley is one step closer to being converted into a multi-use trail system.
The Pickens Railway has submitted a purchase price of $500,000 to both Easley and Pickens for the portion of track, and both cities are willing to collaborate on the purchase and have consulted with the same group of attorneys that counseled Greenville County on their acquisition of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
“We, as the city of Pickens, the council and administrator, are in agreement to purchase half of the railroad along with Easley,” said Pickens Mayor David Owens.
The purchase of the railway is intended to be a 50/50 split between the cities of Easley and Pickens.
“This project is a community wide project. We hope the cities of Easley and Pickens as well as the county can come together for the betterment of the community and get this project done,” said Easley City Administrator Fox Simons.
Both cities would like to see some manner of contribution by the county as well.
“If they should decide not to help purchase the track, we still want the county to be a part of it by coming in and helping us convert the railway into the trail,” said Owens.
The Cities of Pickens and Easley are ready to take the next step in the project.
“I believe city council is on board, we’re going to be equal partners with the city of Easley, and we have heard nothing but positive comments from around the community, so I think we are ready to move forward quickly,” said Pickens City Administrator Katherine Brackett.
The “Rails to Trails” project is highly supported by the community, and surveys conducted by the YMCA and the Easley Chamber of Commerce have provided statistical proof with an 80-90 percent range of support.
“I wasn’t surprised by the results of the survey by the way the people in the community have talked about the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville. We know the success and economic impact that towns like Travelers Rest have experienced, and when the same type of thing was brought up in our community, the people already had a positive feel, if it worked in Greenville, why not here? The survey was simply a formality,” said Ambassador of the Easley Chamber of Commerce Ryan Kouvolo.