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Dakota Trail contentious topic for county board

The McLeod County Board, on a 4-1 vote, tabled until Aug. 30 a decision on whether it should apply for Legacy grant funding to pave the Dakota Trail.
At its Aug. 16 meeting, Parks Director Al Koglin told the board that the trail had received designation as a regional trail, which will allow it to apply for a Legacy Fund grant. It is estimated that it will cost about $3.2 million to $3.3 million to recondition and pave the trail from the Carver County line to the city of Hutchinson.
If the grant is approved, no matching funds would be required from the county, Koglin said.
Commissioner Doug Krueger said that while he had no problem applying for a grant, he did have an issue with a stipulation that the county would have to pay for maintenance on the rail for the next 20 years.
“I’m not opposed to a Legacy grant, but I have a real problem with 20 years of maintenance,” said Krueger. “I’d like to see something in there such as a user fee to pay for whatever maintenance there is.”
Koglin said Carver County is currently paying about $750 to $1,000 per mile per year for maintenance on its portion of the trail. The maintenance includes spraying for weeds, mowing and picking up trash.
McLeod County has 18 miles of the trail, and based on Carver County’s figures, Koglin estimated maintenance at between $13,800 to $18,000 per year.

For more, see the Aug. 24 print ediiton of The Chronicle.