• Sun March 06 2011
  • Posted Mar 7, 2011
The Guthrie Supervisors are considering canceling the proposed Herndon to Coon Rapids segment of the nation-wide American Discovery Trail, by turning back a $365,000 grant already secured for initial corridor negotiations. RE: A planned rail trail running 17.5 miles from Herndon, Iowa, to Coon Rapids, Iowa. It will be part of the American Discovery Trail. Herndon will connect to the Raccoon River Trail thus connection Coon Rapids, Bayard, and Bagley to the RRVT. A decision is scheduled for 10:30 AM on Thursday, March 10 at the Guthrie County Courthouse. Guthrie County Court House 200 North 5thStreet Guthrie Center, IA As a Guthrie trail and tourism supporter, please do everything you can to attend that Supervisor meeting and/or to re...ach out to new Supervisors Cliff Carney, Everett Grasty, and Tom Rutledge, as well as Jerry Caraher and Mike Dickson. You can email the Supervisors at:, or write to them at: Supervisors, Guthrie County Courthouse, 200 N 5th Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50015. Below are suggested talking points for engaging the Supervisors (and other Guthrie residents and leaders) in discussion of the trail.
  1. The new trail is called the "Guthrie County Segment of the American Discovery Trail” or "Herndon to Coon Rapids extension of the Raccoon River Valley Trail" (The “Khrushchev in Iowa” name was just used temporarily to get federal attention. This can now be dropped. The final name will be selected later by an inter-institutional committee)
  2. The proposed first step is to start to secure the initial corridor, just like Guthrie County Conservation already did on the abandoned RR right-of-way from Herndon east for the Raccoon River Valley Trail Extension.
  3. Securing this corridor NOW is key to ensuring that the cross-country American Discovery Trail route goes through Guthrie County, and not some other county farther to the north.
  4. The only commitment attached to the current $365,000 grant is to start construction within 20 years. Given the high-powered trail planning committee, this is very feasible. State and federal trail funding sources are available. An extension can be applied for if necessary.
  5. In the meantime, Guthrie County is securing an important wild-life corridor providing badly needed habitat in the northern part of the county.
  6. The first trail users will be snowmobilers going on the Herndon-Bayard portion after first bridges are replaced. The Herndon-Bayard segment forms part of a proposed snowmobile route that extends all the way to Okoboji.
  7. When finally paved, the new, professionally-engineered 6" concrete trail will be a whole different matter from the 30-year-old poorly-built asphalt trail inherited by Guthrie County. The new trail should last well over 30 years, with minimum maintenance issues.
  8. After paving, the county will be obliged to maintain the trail for 20 years. These costs are estimated in $1,000 per mile, for mowing, tree limb removal, patching, etc. When the time comes for paving grants, in 10-20 years, future joint service agreements (for example, with Coon Rapids) can be negotiated prior to those applications.
  9. Ongoing economic development impact will be large, and will far outweigh maintenance expense. The extension to Whiterock enhance destination potential of the entire RRVT, thus benefitting Guthrie communities along the existing trail (Panora, Yale, Herndon) as well as those on the new trail extension (Bagley, Bayard and Coon Rapids).
  10. ISU calculates that, annually, 50,000-70,000 bike riders will cross Guthrie County on the new trail, generating over $1 million in user spending, $200,000 of new income, and 12 jobs. This figure does not include the additional economic impact of snowmobilers.
  11. Guthrie County will lose face with federal legislators and the Iowa DOT if it gives back a grant it formally applied for and was already awarded.
The only concern I would like to draw attention to that has yet to mentioned is, with the corn supply at a projected all time low come September,what alternatives exist to make up revenue lost in our towns, from producers whose profit margins will become non existent?This could easily be the case if subsidy programs are also cut in D.C. I don't know if many of you are aware of this, but IA and central IA receives a substantial amount from farm programs.We will also be losing a lot of CRP ground that will need to be put back into productive use, losing further benefits. I realize we live in tough economic times,but no matter which side of aisle you are on,the trail extension will be a benefit for all.For our towns,counties,school districts and future economic growth! posted by Jessica Chrystal

LOTS more Trail info here

News from May 2009 where Guthrie County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to proceed with fundraising to develop 17 miles of new trail.

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