AT&T tower ‘rent money’ to go toward walking path

FORRESTON — Money Forreston gets for renting an AT&T tower in village limits is being more carefully allocated.

On June 20, trustees voted unanimously to deposit the money into the Park Fund and earmark the money for creation of a walking path.

Currently, the roughly $1,200 monthly payments from Vertical Bridge — the company renting the tower — goes into the General Fund, Village President Mark Metzger said after Monday’s meeting. The tower was installed in the last two years, but the village didn’t start receiving money for its use until about one year ago, he said.

“At the last meeting [June 6], the discussion was, ‘Hey, let’s earmark that to the Parks, and then when they accumulate some money, they can start the engineering, finding out details, bring different plans to us,’” Metzger said. “So now it’s kind of put onto the chairman of the Park Committee or the Park Committee itself to kind of, as they get money now, to actually start doing things with it, even if it’s in very small stages.”

The park they’d likely look to start the walking path at is Warnken Park, he said. Use of Warnken Park is growing with baseball fields, basketball court and recently added grills, Metzger said.

Talk of creating a walking path has been going on for several years, he said.

“Actually, how it came up was, when Dollar General came out — and nobody even thought about this — but they didn’t have a sidewalk,” Metzger said. “Then we looked at other Dollar Generals. Well, none of them do. … So our thought was, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have, like, around the parks a walking path and maybe somehow connect that behind where it could connect to DG or just different areas?’”

There might be other sections of walking paths in other locations in Forreston that could be connected into a new path, Metzger said, but noted that he didn’t know full details.

“I think that’s the whole idea is eventually, if we can connect different areas and then just have like on a [nice] night just walk out and have something,” he said.