FOLEY – Foley plans for the recently annexed Mills community will include new sidewalks under a resolution approved by the City Council.

The council voted to approve engineering for a pedestrian improvement project in Mills. The proposal includes surveys, design, environmental permitting and construction inspection services for a 5-foot concrete sidewalk along Airport Road, Daily Lane, Little Rock Road, Mills Road and Baldwin County 65.

Mill residents voted in August to have their community brought into the city.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said Foley is continuing plans for improvements in the area.

“We’ve gotten the Mills Community Park off and running,” he said. “We’ve cleared out the area and we’ll continue to improve that during the year. Our Mills community annexation, now that all of that community is now one and part of Foley, we’ll continue to upgrade that area. We have a sidewalk project under design right now to make them part of our city just like the rest of the city.”

The Foley City Council also voted Jan. 2 to approve a first reading to zone the park site as open space preservation. 

City officials are also working on drainage improvements in the area.

Hellmich said work has begun to clear the 4-acre parcel where the park is planned. The walkway will extend around the park and into other areas of Mills.

“It’s forest mowed now and then we’re going to go into the design phase of the park itself,” Hellmich said “This is for the pedestrian walkway that goes around that square and also had some alternatives down Cater Lee and also on Airport Road.”

City officials said Foley will seek community development block grant funding to pay some of the cost of the project. Hellmich said a new park in a community without such facilities could help the project qualify for a grant.

“This will mean a new park in a new area,” Hellmich said. “We feel like we have a better chance so if we get the grant money that would be good.”