Council passes southern Beaver Islands Trail extension; nix current northern trail plans

Council passes southern Beaver Islands Trail extension; nix current northern trail plans Click to Enlarge Photo:

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Plans to add a southern extension to the popular Beaver Islands Trail will go forward, while efforts to lengthen the northern section of the trail through St. Cloud's downtown area were temporarily derailed by the St. Cloud City Council Monday night. 

The council approved plans Monday to go ahead with alignment and right-of-way acquisition proceedings for a 3/4-mile southern extension to the trail that would run adjacent to Roosevelt Road from 33rd Street South down to the River Bluffs Regional Park at 38th Street South.

St. Cloud parks director Scott Zlotnik said the proposed alignment for the $888,000 plan was the most feasible and cost-effective option of three possible proposals for the southern trail extension.

Council members also approved applying for a $400,000 Legacy Amendment grant to help pay for the project. Another $388,000 for the extension was earmarked from federal money, while the remaining $100,000 would come from the city's 1/2 cent sale tax revenue.

Also last night, the council decided against going forward with a separate 3/4-mile northern extension to the trail which would have stretched from the St. Cloud Civic Center through downtown to the 5th Avenue North boat launch.

Members decided to revoke an earlier vote on extending the northern section after city staff concluded more deals may need to be struck with downtown landowners than initally estimated to allow the project to go forward. Even before the possible new expenses, the project was already estimated to cost nearly $2.9 million.

Council member Nancy Gohman led a vote to nix the current alignment plan, while allowing council members to assess other option at future meetings.

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