Denison City Manager Terry Crawford on Monday presented prospective bike trails to the Crawford County Cruisers.
Crawford explained he had developed a draft of a map that connected a trail at Sixth Avenue North to a section of the existing Sewell trail east of town.
The trail would proceed on a loop around town and along North 10th Street.
According to Crawford’s plans, riders would either continue onto Avenue C, along Arrowhead Drive past Ampride and up towards Crawford County Memorial Hospital or travel onto Seventh Street and along Highway 30.
“Obviously, there are parts that are vague and parts that are planned out,” Crawford said.
He added another possible plan was to convert the gravel trail along the Boyer river levy to a paved path and also install a trail underneath railroad bridges.
Crawford explained that currently, the trail is just an idea.
With a tight budget, rare opportunities at loans and an increased cost of construction materials, the project will have to be done in small portions.
“Right now, it’s just a map. We need to keep on working on possible grant opportunities that might come along to help us do a piece of it here and there so we can develop more of a biking system,” he said.
“But we are not in real good shape financially as far as going after grants. We still have bonds and borrowing at the point where we are kind of at our limit. The last thing I want to do is come to the public and raise taxes due to the new infrastructure.”
Evan Blakley, Chamber and Development Council (CDC) of Crawford County executive director and coordinator of the Crawford County Cruisers, explained to Crawford that the Cruisers as well as the CDC would support Crawford’s bids for grants and trail expansion.
“If something ever comes up in front of council, you have a lot of people here that would go speak in support (of trails),” said Blakley.
“Part of economic development is creating a community people want to live in so the CDC would definitely be supportive.”
Crawford agreed that the trail project would increase the appeal and recreational opportunities in Denison and Crawford County.
“The more amenities you can provide, the more people will want to move to Denison,” he stated. “I think this needs to be a priority instead of getting moved to the back burner.”