- Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Plymouth County officials have expressed reluctance to finance, own or maintain the proposed $10 million PlyWood Trail, slowing plans to pave the 16-mile path between Le Mars and Sioux City in northwest Iowa.

The Plymouth County Conservation Board has declined ownership and maintenance responsibilities, according to the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/2kE3fQO ). Also, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors has told the PlyWood Trail Advisory Board that the county favors the project but only if no county property tax dollars will be sought for construction and maintenance.

The PlyWood name is derived from the first few letters of the neighboring counties of Plymouth and Woodbury.

County Supervisors Chairman Don Kass said the board is “not anti-bike trail,” but he said that only 2 percent of people are avid bicyclists. It’s not fair to give tax money to the county conservation board for trail maintenance, he said, because some county residents will never use the trail and “never lay eyes on it.”

The trail board should register as a nonprofit entity, take ownership of the trail and commit to assuming the full trail construction and subsequent maintenance costs, Kass said.

PlyWood Trail board member Jeff Stanley said, however, that a nonprofit foundation would have a fluid membership, and future members might not continue to support trail operations. That’s why, he said, ownership by a local governmental body in Plymouth County is essential.

Fourteen of the 16 miles of the proposed route are in Plymouth County. If Plymouth County officials don’t changes their minds, PlyWood Trail leaders said, they could approach the Le Mars and Sioux City councils about each city taking possession of segments of the trail closest to their respective boundaries.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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