(Nebraska City) — Nebraska City officials are seeking grant funding for a major trail expansion in the community.
Meeting in regular session this week, the Nebraska City Commissioners approved a request for a local group to complete a grant application to Nebraska Game & Parks for a trail project. Mayor Bryan Bequette says the group is seeking grant funding for a large extension of the city’s existing trail system.
"We have the Tree City Trails group that has been working for many years trying to improve trails around town," said Bequette. "This grant from the Game and Parks would take from our newly finished bridge on North 11th Street, go out towards the Ambassador Wellness Center to our softball complex. It would go along Business 75 by Larson Motors and all that. We would build a trail that would connect from the sidewalk that we just added with the new bridge across North Table Creek on North 11th Street, connect that and go all the way out west to the existing softball complex, as well as on the north side for our future sports complex."
Bequette says the proposed expansion is the next step in a long-range plan for the city’s trails.
"I'd probably put us at about one-third of the way on what we envision," said Bequette. "Ultimately, we'd like to have a running/biking trail that would go all around the city and then a couple places through the city."
The group is requesting a grant of $250,000 from Nebraska Game & Parks for the project. The total project is estimated to cost just over $550,000. The remaining funding would be covered by a pledged donation of $300,000. If realized, Bequette says the project would be a big step in the city’s trail improvements.
"This would be a major chunk of getting us around the north end of the city," said Bequette. "We would like to expand it at some point to go further west and then come back to tie into the city, so folks would have six or seven miles of trail that they could hop on and jog or ride on. We're getting there. It just takes a little time and a little money. The group is trying to do it without tax dollars, which we really appreciate. This is another grant that they are looking at and they also have some donations lined up."
The grant application is being made to the Recreational Trails Program, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered through Nebraska Game & Parks. The funds are made possible by a portion of the Federal motor fuel excise tax paid by snowmobiles, ATVs, off-road motorcycles and off-road light trucks.