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  • Wed January 06 2010
  • Posted Jan 6, 2010
Marshalltown, AI By Ken Black, Times-Republican The Marshall County Board of Supervisors gave its blessing for Region VI to proceed with a grant application to connect portions of the bike trail near Marshalltown, but not all supervisors were enthusiastic about the project. In the end, Supervisor Ron Goecke said he could not see the need for the projected, and questioned the overall county commitment needed if the project were to come to fruition. "These are questions that need to be asked and, in fact, have been asked," he said. "I'm not sure, and people question why, this is necessary." Marty Wymore, director of the Region VI Commission, said the project has been a priority of many in the community for years, even being part of the Imagine 2011 initiative. "There is really good support for the project," he said. Goecke noted that the project would become the responsibility of Marshall County to maintain for a period of 20 years. He noted the county would not only need to maintain the paved trail, but also any walls that needed to be constructed. He also questioned about acquiring land for the project, should that become necessary. Others at the meeting noted the trail would be built on right of way that the county and state already possess, making the taking of more land from nearby property owners unnecessary. The trail would connect two portions of trail already in existence. The northernmost portion, running from Riverview Park in Marshalltown to Grimes Farm, would be linked by an approximate 2-mile stretch to another trail running from S-75, a county road, to Melbourne. The system through Marshall County is part of a nationwide trail project known as the American Discovery Trail, the only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail in the country. The county's cash contribution would total $40,000, according to County Engineer Royce Fichtner. Further, the county would offer nearly $25,000 in engineering services and inspections during the construction. Though Goecke voted no, Supervisor Pat Brooks and Supervisor Denny Grabenbauer voted for the resolution of support. "I think we'd be remiss if we didn't proceed forward with this," Brooks said. "Will this, for many years, represent our last chance to get this project done? This grant money is not likely to be replenished by the state." Project managers are hoping to get $167,000 from the state Community Attractions and Tourism grant. --- Contact Ken Black at 641-753-6611 or kblack@timesrepublican.com

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