Plans were presented during the June 18 council meeting for a three-phase 2.9 mile loop connecting the existing lake trail to the North Lake Avenue trail, which is slated to begin construction sometime next summer. The route for the North Lake Avenue trail will run north from 10th Street to C49.
The three-phase trail, coupled with the North Lake Avenue trail, will provide pedestrians access to major residential, commercial, educational and industrial areas throughout the city.
Council approved application for a State of Iowa's State Trails grant that has the potential to fund 75 percent of construction costs for the first phase of the trail, which will run 1.3 miles from east Lakeshore Drive, with links beginning around Sunrise Pointe Golf Course and King's Pointe, heading north through city-owned abandoned railroad right-of-way, ending at Geisinger Road.
Easements and land purchases will not be required.
Total estimated cost for the first phase of the project is $653,000, with the grant application requesting funding for $421,000. The City of Storm Lake would then provide the remaining $232,000, which includes engineering and administrative costs, funded through Local Option Sales Tax that has been allocated for future trail development.
If application for the grant is approved, construction could begin in 12-24 months. City clerk Justin Yarosevich said the city plans to tie the project in with a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) that will relieve storm water issues on Rose, Tulip and Violet Lanes.
Contracts for the storm water project will be reviewed during the next council meeting in July.
"If we get funded here, we could tie the projects together to save," he said. However, the trails grant program is highly competitive, and funding is not guaranteed.
Earlier this year, the city applied for phase three funding under the SAFETEA-LU grant program, but was not approved. Despite the setback, Yarosevich said city staff continues to search for additional funding sources for the remaining trail phases.
The second and third phases will complete the loop. Phase two will connect the North Lake Avenue trail to Iowa Central, and phase three will connect Iowa Central to the Flindt Drive commercial district.
The future goal for Storm Lake's fully completed trail system is to connect with a county-wide system, currently in the beginning stages of development, and the existing 25-mile Great Lakes Trail in Dickinson County.