Supervisors Vote Down Grant Application For Plywood Trail

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(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors decided to vote down a grant application, that if approved, would have helped with a portion of the funding of the proposed recreational trail known as the Plywood Trail. For several years, organizers have been wanting officials to approve the proposed trail. Plywood Trail would be a bicycle and hiking trail that would connect Le Mars with Sioux City while passing through the towns of Merrill and Hinton. There have been some questions as to the final location of the trail. McClure Engineering is the survey team with the task of creating a final trail. Officials with McClure appeared before the county governing board on Tuesday seeking the county’s approval to be listed on the REAP state grant application. Don Kass is the chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and says he and some of his colleagues questioned the location of the trail.

Kass says he wonders how a bicycle trail is helping protect natural resources?

Some people have wondered if the Iowa Department of Transportation, during their construction project involving Highway 75 were just going to place the Plywood bicycle trail within the right-of-way running parallel to the highway?
D-O-T officials have denied the claim during past conversations. The county governing board met with Iowa DOT officials during their Tuesday meeting relating to the status of the Highway 75 construction project, but Kass says the Plywood Trail was never brought up during their Tuesday conversation.

The county board of supervisors voted 3 to 2 to defeat the REAP grant application. Kass says since the county did not sign on to the grant application, he believes with relation to this specific grant, the issue is “dead in the water.” However, Kass acknowledged there are other grants the Plywood Trail Association may pursue.