CAIRO — The Cairo City Council is moving forward with plan to expand Southern Terrace Park.

Council members voted unanimously Monday evening to purchase a vacant 2.62-acre tract bordering the existing park for $37,000. The purpose of the acquisition is twofold — to construct a detention pond to alleviate flooding on the west side of 1st Street and to make room for the development of a new walking trail. The purchase is budgeted in the fiscal year 2020 budget.

City council members approved a resolution earlier this month in support of a grant application to develop a walking trail at Southern Terrace Park. The trail would likely be about one half-mile in length and would circle around the park.

If approved by the state Department of Natural Resources, the grant, which has a maximum payout of $200,000, also would help restore facilities at Southern Terrace Park.

City Manager Chris Addleton said the city would not receive grant funding until fall 2020 even if their application is approved, though he added that enough funds are already in the budget to begin moving forward with developing an engineering plan.

If the city’s application is approved, the city would finance the entire project and then be reimbursed as much as 80 percent of the costs.

City officials will learn if their application has been pre-approved in the spring.

The project would have to be completed within the next two years in order to qualify for grant funding.

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