(Sioux City) — The Sioux City council joined Le Mars, Merrill and Hinton city councils by showing their support for the proposed Ply-wood recreational trail.
Ply-wood refers to the acronym of Plymouth and Woodbury Counties. The Ply-wood trail is a proposed recreational trail that would connect Le Mars with the towns of Merrill, Hinton, and Sioux City. The Sioux City council voted 5-0 in favor
of the trail Monday afternoon during its weekly council meeting. Some members of the Sioux City council mentioned the proposed trail is needed for Sioux City and would help with economic development, as well as make the tri-state area
more attractive for jobs and establish another aspect for improving the quality of life. Several Le Mars city officials attended yesterday’s Sioux City council meeting to show their support of the project. Among those in attendance were
mayor Dick Kirchoff, city administrator Scott Langel, and Chamber of Commerce executive, Neil Adler. They were joined by several members of the Ply-wood Trail Foundation, as well as the Siouxland Trails Association, and other proponents of the proposed trail. Plymouth County Supervisors have not
supported the proposed trail due to the costs that has been estimated between $10 million and $25 million dollars. Trail advocates are hoping the trail can be along Highway 75 as part of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s right-of-way. Iowa D-O-T District 3 transportation planner Dakin Schultz says that
would be possible, but the trail would have to meet specific criteria.
Schultz says if the proposed bicycle trail would be located on the state’s DOT right-of-way, then individual landowners would not need to be notified, or given permission for use of their property.
The Iowa D-O-T official says there has not yet been a formal proposal submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation for any consideration of using the highway’s right-of-way as a recreational bicycle trail.
Ryan Meyer serves as the chairman of the Ply-wood Trail Foundation. He says since the Sioux City council approved the measure, it would be similar to action taken by the Le Mars city council.
Meyer says an engineering and surveying firm have been hired to study the proposed trail, and to make specific recommendations relating to the location of the recreational trail, before it can be submitted to the Iowa Department of
Transportation for its approval. Meyer says he isn’t certain as to when the study will be completed.
Two public meetings have been scheduled to allow people a better opportunity to view the proposal, and to ask questions, and to learn more about the proposed bicycle recreational trail. Meyer says the first public meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 16th at the Hinton Community Center, and the second meeting is scheduled for the next day, Thursday, August 17th at the Merrill city council chambers. Both meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. and are scheduled to continue through 7:30 p.m.