10/17/2013 3:58:00 PM North Branch Council supports trail
extension with state grant application
In a brief council session before going into a closed meeting for wage negotiations; the North Branch Council supported an application by parks planner Nate Sondrol for a state trail grant. Sondrol got the okay 5-0 to seek $1.2 million for a trail extension from downtown to Harris. Trail system gaps are slowly being connected, he explained. The Willard Munger regional trail connection for this extension of the Sunrise Prairie Trail would be about at Hinckley. There would then be a route from the metro all the way to Duluth, with a small disconnect existing north of Harris to Rush City.
Sondrol said this is part of later Trail Phases pending available funding. North Branch doesn’t have to put up “matching” money for this grant, but it is a reimbursement format of funding so North Branch and Harris spend the money and submit claims for payment out of the state’s Legacy fund. Council member Joyce Borchardt said it’s a good thing for the city because it connects Roger Johnson Memorial Park to downtown. If the city wins the grant funding it will draft a co-maintenance agreement with Harris officials, Sondrol added.
On a motion by Trent Jensen council voted 5-0 to contribute $500 to an Eagle Scout project enhancing the disc golf course in Harder Park. Jensen said the scout Dylan Andrews, “worked hard and just needs this money as a bridge” to cover what he couldn’t fundraise for. Council heard the mill & overlay work on Flink Ave. is underway this week and the 377th area project takes place (weather permitting) next week. Concrete work is being delayed until next spring. In public comment, a resident of Lucht’s Crossing neighborhood asked about the plans to punch Harder Ave. through, to access the new development, south of Casselberry. She said people are getting tired of having to come south at Grand, and down #14.
The Harder connection is apparently laid out as part of a multi-year improvements agreement and the city administrator said it’s up to the Lucht’s Crossing builder to put in the future roads. The resident also asked for better signage to warn drivers there’s a dead end where a fenced area surrounds the old nursing home demo site. She felt there should be reflectors at the least.