Route for Inman Trail Project discussed by park and tree board members
Discussions are still underway to determine a route for the Inman Trail project.
At the Red Oak Park and Tree Board meeting, Friends of the Red Oak Trails representative Beau Boeye updated the board on discussions regarding a trail. In October of last year, it was discussed that there was city right of way between Irene Court and Chautauqua Drive, and discussions centered on a dedicated route from the Evergreen Cemetery, through Inman, and then through Chautauqua Park.
At the park board meeting Jan. 12, Boeye said there were hesitations with the initial design of the trail cutting through the playground.
“The school discussed the route with their insurance company, legal representaives, and received some community feedback. In December, we had a meeting where they indicated they wanted to look at a different route,” Boeye said.
Boeye added that the Friends of the Red Oak Trail had outlined an alternative route for the trail.
“On the northern part of the campus where they have Inman Drive, what we’re looking to do is create a sidewalk segment that connects Eighth Street all the way along Inman Drive to the eastern entrance of the cemetery,” explained Boeye. “That would help with the parents doing drop offs, and helps get kids further east, since there’s no sidewalks that go that way. There’s no sidewalks east of Inman at all in that area.”
A second portion of the project would include a parking lot that connected off of Miller Avenue.
“That sidewalk would connect to the parking lot, which would include 15-20 parking stalls, and alleviate some of the traffic congestion that’s around the campus,” commented Boeye.
The third part of the project would be a trail segment on the southern portion of the Inman campus on Inman Hill.
“It would connect from Eighth Street, run along the southern portion of the school east until the slope of Inman Hill reduces, then cut across the street to city right-of-way to get to Chautauqua Park, up to where the bathrooms are. We’ve gotten cost estimates from Snyder & Associates Inc. The trail piece was around $300,000, and the parking lot portion was $140,000,” Boeye said.
In the initial plans, the parking lot was dropped from the initial cost estimates. Boeye said this time, they pushed to have the parking lot as part of the cost estimates due to it being a core component to alleviating the traffic congestion around the school.
Boeye added the project was still very much in the preliminary stage, and they were looking at the Iowa Transportation Alternative program as a way to get funding.
“The program pays around 80% of the cost. We still need to have further conversations with the City of Red Oak and get some numbers so the city can potentially budget for it. We’ll see how those conversations go,” advised Boeye.
Also, Boeye said there was discussion during the levee recertification meeting about a trail on the city’s levee.
“It was mentioned that the city has a lovely levee, and it was asked why there wasn’t a trail on it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were also part of that conversation who were in favor of that project,” Boeye stated.
According to Boeye, one of the Army Corps of Engineers representatives was from Griswold and said he would assist with locating potential funding for that trail project.
“The conversation has been started, but we’re more focused on the Inman project. We will be working on this project a little and having some conversations with the mayor on what it will entail to move that project forward,” Boeye said. “It would be a nice project that facilitates the entire western half of the community, so we’ll see where it goes.”
Lastly, Boeye said Friends of the Red Oak Trails are looking at revamping its fundraising program.
“We’re hoping to kick start in the spring and raise some additional funds from the community which we haven’t done for awhile now.”
The board also held its organizational meeting. Bill Drey was re-elected as the chairman, Alex McFarland was elected to vice-chair, replacing Cliff Owen, and Amy Strebe was re-elected secretary.
Drey said he would be contacting Dave Sturm with Snyder & Associates, Inc. of Atlantic to determine if there were any outstanding bills associated with the Fountain Square Park stage project. Drey said the first phase of the project is now complete.
Also, Drey said a tree report was sent into Trees Please, and Drey submitted a Trees Please application for funding for next year, and was waiting to see if it was approved. Drey also submitted an application to Tree City USA for potential funding as well.