Dunwoody city officials plan to modify an application for $100,000 in grant funds so they can use the money to build the second phase of a 12-foot-wide, concrete multi-use trail through Brook Run Park.

The application originally called for an 8-foot-wide, asphalt trail. But city officials have decided that trails through city parks should be the wider, multi-use trails, Brent Walker, director of the city’s recreation and parks department, told members of Dunwoody City Council on May 28.

The widening of the trail has produced controversy as residents have complained that the new plan requires the removal of too many trees and may increase the risk of flooding in nearby neighborhoods. Construction workers now are building the first phase of the trail.

Walker said the amendment to the grant application would bring it in line with what the city actually plans to build when it starts the second phase of the Brook Run trail. The city has budged $341,000 for the second phase of the Brook Run Trial, he said, and the $100,000 grant would raise the total available to $441,000.

Dunwoody City Council approved the change in the grant application by a vote of 4-2. Councilmen Denis Shortal and John Heneghan voted against the change. Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch was not present for the vote.

Shortal argued the vote should be delayed until after a public meeting on the trail, which is planned for mid-June. “I think the ethical thing to do is to defer this until after the public meeting,” Shortal said.

City Manager Warren Hutmacher said the council would have another chance to vote on the proposal before the contract is let to begin construction of the trail.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.