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  • Wed August 01 2007
  • Posted Aug 1, 2007
By KAREN HEINSELMAN, Courier Staff Writer WAVERLY --- Supporters backing a proposed recreational trail in Bremer County were assured a financial contribution Monday that they view as imperative. County supervisors unanimously agreed to grant $25,000 to the Readlyn Grump Trail. The proposed six-mile course will extend from Readlyn to U.S. Highway 63 and is part of a planned, tricounty trail system. Project advocates expressed relief Monday about supervisors' support for the project. The county's contribution is one condition necessary to receive a $250,000 grant from the state, said Andrew Sexton, a spokesman for the Grump Trail Foundation. Fundraisers, however, must also come up with an additional $25,000 in private donations by Oct. 11, Sexton added. They have a good start, but $10,000 is needed. Should contributions exceed that amount, the money will pay for added trail amenities, he said. Louie Hartman, a real estate agent in Readlyn, says Grump Trail is just the sort of feature new families look for. She has advocated for trail expansion in her county since 1991. "It is a quality-of-life feature," Hartman said. Supervisor Ken Kammeyer gave a voice to taxpayers concerned Bremer County is funding a costly project that serves relatively small and select community. Dick Crayne, city administrator of Waverly, however, said interest in Grump Trail extends beyond a single community. "This project isn't just a project for Readlyn. It is something for the entire area," Crayne said. Bremer County Engineer Todd Fonkert also noted the combined populations of Readlyn, Denver and Waverly --- three communities to be connected by trails should the Grump Trail come to fruition --- make up almost half of Bremer County's residents. Grump Trail is part of a planned system of paths in Bremer, Butler and Franklin counties. Rolling Prairie Trails, if completed, would extend from Coulter to Readlyn. Trail advocates speculate additional communities would like to get connected as well. Supervisor Steve Reuter said the board has worked on trail expansions for years. In 2003, Bremer County supervisors purchased the right of way for the proposed trail to Readlyn. Supervisors previously pledged a second $25,000 contribution, and the county also plans to provide most of the engineering services --- with an estimated value of $140,000 --- for construction. Monday, Kevin Blanshan of the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments said the state expects most local governments seeking a Community Attraction and Tourism grant to contribute at least 25 percent of total project costs. Blanshan has helped walk the county and project supporters through the grant process with the state of Iowa. He said he thinks the offer on the table is a good one --- and one likely to not be repeated. "You will not get a better deal than this," he said. A benefit dinner and auction for the Grump Trail is scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Center Inn in Readlyn. Donations can be sent to the Readlyn Grump Trail Foundation, P.O. Box 40, Readlyn, IA 50668. Contact Karen Heinselman at (319) 291-1581 or karen.heinselman@wcfcourier.com.

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