BELLA VISTA — Several members of a local hiking club spoke during the open forum of the most recent Bella Vista Property Owners Association’s board meeting in support of extensions of the Razorback Greenway.
The Razorback Greenway is a wide, concrete path that runs south connecting communities all the way from Bella Vista to Fayetteville. An extension was opened between Blowing Springs Park and the Metfield Park area last year and has been very well used. Property Owners Association documents show some 8,000 users each month. One proposed extension starts at Metfield Park and goes north on Trafalgar Road, using mostly the road right of way and some common property,
Another project will begin at Blowing Springs and cross the portion of the closed Berksdale Golf Course and end at the new park off of Riordan Road. That trail will remain close to Sugar Creek, leaving most of the former golf course open for other uses.
Member John Nuttall, who described himself as a member of the biking community, pointed out that a single track trail can be used between the park and Riordan Hall, giving members from the east side a way to access Riordan without a vehicle. He said it could be used by young people to get to Property Owners Association amenities including the mini golf course and the pools.
Other members pointed out that a concrete trail would be much safer for bicyclists since most Bella Vista roads don’t have side walks.
The nonprofit Trailblazers would fund both projects at a cost of more than $5 million.
One board member, Sandy Fosdick, opposed the plan for Berksdale. The board is working on a five-year plan that might include a new recreational use of the Berksdale land. The Greenway could get in the way of that future use, she said. Board member Jan Sims agreed.
Fosdick said that the extension going north from Metfield resembles a city sidewalk and is therefore not the association’s responsibility.
Board member Jerre Barron Jr. pointed out that many trail users are not from Bella Vista. While the city profits from visitors to the area, the association does not, he said. He supported the plan but challenged the board to find a use for the rest of the property that will benefit association members and help pay for the trail upkeep.
The board passed both projects with Sims and Fosdick voting against both.
The board also passed a plan to give all Property Owners Association employees, excluding Chief Operating Office Tom Judson, a 4% cost of living increase effective immediately.