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The Cass County Board of Supervisors adopted a Cass County Trail Plan Tuesday in the first step of what officials hope will lead to additional funding opportunities.

The plan, presented by SWIPCO Planner Danielle Briggs, lays out possible routes including connections to the T-Bone trail which ends northeast of the Atlantic.

The revised plan replaces the 2020 plan and is essential when apply for grant money.

“This plan, formally adopted and having all the cities in there acts as a tool that cities, trail groups, the county could utilize to apply for grant funds,” Briggs said adding that some grants require a formal trail plan.

The plan does not obligate the county to committing any funding for trail projects.

Nishna Valley Trails President Dave Chase told the board that with the passage of new infrastructure bills and donations from local individuals he is confident funding for new trail projects will be coming.

“We’re very confident new funding is coming on line with the infrastructure bills that have been passed and approved. We have support of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; Rails to Trails Conservancy; and we’re working with people at Rolling Hills RC&D to develop a plan for western Iowa to connect the trails,” Chase said. “This is an ongoing process, I’ve been at it 22 years and I’d like to see it done as well as people that have come forward to support it financially as well as inspirationaly.”

Multi-use trail use in Iowa has grown substantially in the last few years with over 60 trails, five miles or long, spread across the state. The T-Bone trail is a 21 mile paved trail running from 3 miles northeast of Atlantic to Audubon along an abandoned railway bed. Connecting the trail to Atlantic has been a work in progress for several years.


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