Archive for Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Council seeks grant for trail

Baldwin City Hall

Baldwin City Hall

April 17, 2013

The Baldwin City Council voted Monday to seek a $55,000 grant to help construct a trail between two city parks.

City Clerk Collin Biesler said the grant was offered through the Sunflower Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to improving the health of Kansans. Since 2005, the foundation has helped fund 50 community-based trails in the state, he said, including a trail in Eudora where he worked before taking his job with Baldwin City in January.

The city will apply for a $55,000 grant, the maximum amount available. Biesler said the grant would require a dollar-for-dollar match from the city. Money for the city’s share would come from the city’s quality of life sales tax and its special parks and recreation fund, he said.

The grant application deadline is May 1, Biesler said. That quick turnaround factored into the decision of where the trail should be located.

Councilman Shane Starkey, who is chairman of the council’s community development committee, said that committee members agreed with a staff recommendation that the trail connect West Park with the small park at the Santa Fe Depot. Instead of using High Street to connect to the parks, the proposed seven-block trail would run one block south of the West Park parking lot at 11th Street and then turn west on a route that would lead to the depot grounds following an Indiana Street alignment.

The cost of the trail would depend on whether its surface was concrete, asphalt or other material, Biesler said. It would require a couple of bridges to span the small creek near West Park.

The route was selected because the city already owned most of its right of way, which was an important factor with the application deadline looming, Starkley said.

It was also noted the trail’s alignment was on the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan and would connect two existing city parks. Additionally, it is thought the city’s application for Kansas Department of Transportation grant funds for upgrades to the depot and its grounds would strengthen the city’s application for the Sunflower Foundation grant, Starkey said.

Comments

greyghost 1 year, 5 months ago

The trail idea sounds great--although I don't know who the users will be of this particular path.

Instead, can we try to complete a trail out to Douglas State Lake? Half of it is already built, as in there already exists a great sidewalk going out north on Sixth Street to the lake road. Let's finish it off instead of creating a park to park trail.

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1776attorney 1 year, 5 months ago

GreyGhost. With all due respect, I cannot tell you how many people tell me how extremely angry they are about the walking nature trail "to serve the north Highway 56 newbie, upper class".

That trail only serves the north Highway 56 people as no walkers from the city center neighborhoods (especially the elderly) can walk the 3/4 mile to get to that walking nature trail, then utilize the trail itself. (And then walk all the way home again).

Have you ever observed how many people use those spanking new $700,000 sidewalks in that neighborhood? I have. At most, 5 or 6 people per day can be seen walking on small portions of those sidewalks.

Have you noticed that the new road from Highway 56 to the Douglas County Lake road includes a "turn-off" for a "future" housing development into the acreage to the west? Who had the forethought and presence of mind to predict the future? Perhaps a whisper in the ear from the property owner that a nice, new, taxpayer-funded road sure would be a great deal for a developer of a future housing development along that new road.

A great, new, taxpayer-funded walking, nature trail would also be a super selling point on an upper class, new housing development sales brochure too.

The city deserves a huge "Thumbs Up" for re-thinking their focus and providing these enhancements within the center city areas (which have been neglected for 20 years). The center city area of 20 blocks around the Baker University campus represents the "majority" of the town's population.

The Midland Railway and Kansas Belle dinner train draw many visitors to this city and any enhancements to this area are positive.

On any evening, you will see 10 - 20 people out walking, with or without dogs, right in that very neighborhood. (Walking in the streets as the sidewalks are so poor.) These people will use the 2 city park walking trail and maybe even stop for a bit to visit the residents at the elder care facilities nearby. (Or offer those residents a walking path also.)

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Stacy Napier 1 year, 5 months ago

55,000 in tax payer money for some trail, but you can't pave my gravel street? There are at least 10 people walking my street every night as you say on a road that is only 20 feet wide an gravel.

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Nathaniel Johnson 1 year, 5 months ago

I would not have thought it possible but I keep agreeing with 1776attorney. Maybe its like Siskel and Ebert. Notwhatyouthink has good point too though that pavement will cost you some of your front yard since those streets are too narrow to turn into full fledged streets and thus be able to be maintained.

Nathaniel Johnson

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