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Carlisle receives Vision Iowa grant for trail expansion


The city of Carlisle is seeking more than $1 million in Vision Iowa funding to proceed with a planned expansion of its bicycle and pedestrian trails.

At its Nov. 10 meeting, the Vision Iowa Board heard a proposal for the project, for which the city is requesting a grant of $1,069,305. The board has not yet scored the project, said Chairwoman Regenia Bailey.

During that meeting, the board approved funding for a $1.2 million grant to the city of Fort Dodge for construction of 15 individual recreational trail projects, which together comprise the first phase of a comprehensive trail network within Fort Dodge and Webster County.

“We have done an incredible number of trail projects over the past several years,” Bailey said.

The Vision Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. During fiscal 2010, Gov. Chet Culver signed legislation that funded Vision Iowa grants through the I-JOBS program.

The proposed Carlisle project, which has a price tag of $3.69 million, would extend the Summerset Trail by six miles to interconnect Carlisle’s parks and recreation areas and provide a future link to the Principal Riverwalk in Des Moines.

Elements of the project include an on-street trail that will connect North Park with the Scotch Ridge Nature Park via the Carlisle Youth Soccer Complex, an off-street trail from the Scotch Ridge Nature Park to Carlisle Middle School and restoration of native ecosystems in the nature park.

At its Nov. 8 meeting, the Carlisle City Council approved a resolution to provide an additional $204,030 for the project, contingent upon Vision Iowa grant approval. In total, the city will provide nearly $723,000, or 20 percent, of the total project cost.

Funding sources already committed to the project include a federal appropriation of $1,487,000, state grants of $138,000 and school district funding of $70,000. The city is also seeking a $150,000 grant through the Iowa Great Places program. A private fund-raising campaign has raised $20,000 toward a $50,000 goal.

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