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Webster County Supervisors approved an agreement that will invest nearly $1 million in county trails, appointments to the Board of Adjustment and several large Secondary Roads Department purchases Tuesday.

New Trails

Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding with the City of Fort Dodge, pairing and coordinating the use of grant funds from the MIDAS Council of Governments and the Iowa Department to Transportation to improve trails in the area.

Fort Dodge was awarded a $350,000 transportation alternative grant through MIDAS and the IDOT to construct a new trail along 170th Street (County Highway D14), starting near BHJ Corporation on North 15th Street.

Webster County was awarded the same amount through both entities to construct a paved trail circumnavigating Badger Lake at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, much of which is currently gravel.

The agreement approved Tuesday delegates to the city modification of the existing Regional Transportation Improvement Plan in order to allow the county to utilize the city’s funding for paving the trail around Badger Lake, in addition to providing the county with up to an additional $225,000 match that was required to procure the larger grant from MIDAS and IDOT.

The trail will be paved starting near the park’s eastern entrance, providing full pavement to the campground, by November 2021.

The other trail from the north end of the existing Nature Trail, near BHJ Corporation on 170th Street, to the intersection of 160th Street and Oates Avenue will be called the Nature Trail Extension and is planned for completion by November 2022.

With a two-year window to complete the Badger Lake trail loop, the Soldier Creek trail and Kennedy Memorial Park will soon be connected by pavement for bicyclists and other recreational users, according to Matt Cosgrove, director of Webster County Conservation. Both projects together will utilize up to $925,000 in funds.

As trail pavements continue to progress in the county, Cosgrove told The Messenger that the county has a long-term vision of eventually connecting Fort Dodge to Badger with a bike trail.


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