Pine City Moves Forward with Trail Plans
Pine City is moving ahead with plans for a non-motorized hiking and walking trail that could be part of the Twins Cities-to-Twin Ports project. The city agreed during March 3rd’s city council meeting to submit initials plans for how federal money allocated for the project will be used.
The appropriations bill includes $600,000 for the project which would connect the Sunrise Prairie Trail in North Branch with the Willard Munger Trail in Hinckley. The missing part of the trail stretches 32 miles. If connected, it would make the longest trail in the world.
The federal funds can only go towards building the trail.
If the city uses the money, it must provide a $150,000 match. City Administrator Don Howard told the council, the city can seek matching money through grants from a regional trail connection grant program and legacy funds.
The city needs to submit plans for how it intends to use of the funds to the Minnesota Department of Transportation by March 15th. The funds must be used or committed by October 1st.
Howard said the money is not enough to build the entire four mile stretch in Pine City. Council member Brian Scholin said, regardless, he thinks its important the city gets started on the project.
Howard said the city is not obligated to use the entire $600,000. He added that this gives the city options to start the project on a smaller scale.
Scholin suggested the first part of construction start with connecting Pine City High School with Pine Technical College or connecting downtown Pine City to the County Courthouse.