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Monday, August 16, 2010 - 11:42am

Tax Vote Needed To Preserve R.E.M. Trestle

In Athens a railroad trestle featured on an R.E.M. album is in danger of being torn down if voters reject a special local option sales tax.

The “Murmur Trestle”, as it’s known, was pictured on the back cover of R.E.M’s 1983 debut album.

For decades it has sat in disrepair, nonetheless attracting music fans from all over the world.

Now the trestle could be converted to a biking trail with the help of 7.5 million in potential SPLOST funds.

Hannah Smith with the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau says, losing the trestle would be a shame for the hundreds of R.E.M. fans who visit each year and the city’s tourism industry.

"These travelers want to come see where they got their start and trace the roots of that band and the 'Murmur Trestle' is definitely a big part of that heritage," said Smith.

Athens residents will be able to vote on the nearly $200 million SPLOST package in November.

About 76 million dollars of the money would go towards expanding the Athens-Clarke County jail.

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