Update On Bike Trail Dispute

A follow-up to a bike trail dispute first reported by Channel Six news.

The Cassgram reports that after having a couple more weeks to study a draft of an agreement proffered by the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, Cass County commissioners and the county attorney were more apprehensive about the agreement and want to go directly to the NRD board members with ideas and concerns.

The agreement is needed to start a feasibility study for an alternate route for the MoPac Recreational Trail to connect to the Lied Platte River Bridge. The NRD decided on a route on 334th Street last year, but it didn’t fly with landowners or the county commissioners. After the dust settled, commissioners pushed for a route out of Elmwood on Highway 1, onto the state spur through Murdock, then over to 310th Street—a paved road that needs a shoulder upgrade anyway—before going on East Park Highway to South Bend and the bridge.

Prior to the last November county board meeting, the NRD presented the county with the draft of the agreement for a study of routes.

This week, District 2 Commissioner Jim Engelkemier said he got together with County Attorney Nathan Cox in-between meetings. After further review, “we’re not sure there’s any part of this agreement that we can accept as it’s written. It’s convoluted from the fact that they (NRD) just say what they’re going to do and we’re just supposed to sign onto it.”

Cox said it’s clear the proposed agreement had come only from the NRD and there was no county input. “They are suggesting we enter into an agreement to negotiate the costs of this (feasibility study). That was like—whoa—I don’t think any of us had ever thought or heard of anything like that.”

“It really comes down to what we want as commissioners,” said Engelkemier. He sought and received affirmation from the other commissioners that the Highway 1/310th Street route is still the preferred route.


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