Budget conference: Legislators agree on Amelia Island Trail study

amelia island trail
Other Nassau County transportation and infrastructure projects are headed to negotiations. 

As the Legislature’s conference committees hash out the differences between the House and Senate budgets, a few of Nassau County’s budget requests are already settled.

Extensive bicycle and pedestrian paths are part of what draws tourists to and keeps residents on Amelia Island, and further work on the Amelia Island Trail is planned. 

The county requested and received an agreement from both chambers on $225,000 for a feasibility study for Phase 5 of the Amelia Island Trail, along with any preliminary engineering, which equates to full funding. The money comes from non-recurring general revenue. 

The purpose of the study is to determine the viability of extending the trail from the intersection of 8th Street and Amelia Island Parkway to the intersection of 14th Street and Sadler Road.

“This segment provides an integral connection through an existing underserved community to the remainder of the (Amelia Island Trail),” according to the House appropriations project request filed earlier this year. 

The project has support of both the county and the Friends of Amelia Island Trail cycling group.

Other Nassau County transportation and infrastructure projects, with the exception of Hilliard’s 6th Street repaving, are headed to negotiations. 

That includes the County Road 108 extension ($0 from House, $250,000 from Senate), Nassau County public transportation improvements ($0 from House, $725,000 from Senate), and the Hilliard community center/hurricane shelter ($0 from House, $250,000 from Senate).

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee. 

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook: facebook.com/wes.wolfe


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