TOP Trails Park closed for safety reasons
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — Out of an abundance of caution, the TOP Trails Park is closed until further notice, according to manager Mic Barnett.

The park was closed on Thursday and Friday of last week after about 20 pieces of unexploded ordnance were discovered by a lumber crew. Barnett said that no more ordnance had been discovered.

“There is nothing to say that there is any more in the park,” he said Monday. “We just wanted some extra due diligence. The safety of park patrons and staff is our number one priority, so we’re taking extra precautions.”

Barnett said Monday afternoon that he is waiting on word from the National Park Service on what he should do next, saying the park would stay closed until he got word.

The park will remain closed until further notice, he said.

The park occupies territory that was first developed as part of a munitions works during World War II.

After being decommissioned, the park was to be turned over to a public entity to be developed for recreational purposes. The property changed hands several times before the city of Lincoln submitted an ambitious proposal that would provide off-road vehicle trails as well as equestrian and hiking trails, shooting sports and a zip rider, as well as various levels of camping and other outdoor activities.

Eventually, Lincoln’s plan was adopted, and a board of directors consisting of two members each appointed by Lincoln and the city of Talladega were appointed to oversee the development, along with a fifth member selected by the other four.

C.D. Roberts and Associates was selected as the professional services group to devise a development plan, and Barnett was recently appointed to oversee day to day operations.

The ordnance discovered Thursday was recovered and removed by military personnel.

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© 2013