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Paynesville Press - January 5, 2005

City approves trail agreement with township

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

*The council approved a joint powers agreement with Paynesville Township regarding the construction and maintenance of two sections of the Koronis Recreational Trail. One section will connect the trail along Old Lake Road to the city and the other will connect the city to the Glacial Lakes Trail.

The agreement provides for a paved trail to connect the city with the trail along Old Lake Road and the city park on Lake Koronis called Veteran's Memorial Park. This section of trail would run from the intersection of Highway 55 and Burr Street in the city to the intersection of Highway 55 and Old Lake Road in Paynesville Township. From there, the trail can use the existing trail along Old Lake Road to get to Veteran's Memorial Park.

The other section of trail would connect the city to the Glacial Lakes Trail, which runs on an abandoned railroad bed from Willmar to St. Cloud, including a couple miles north of town. This trail will be gravel and will extend from Highway 23 following Main Street and Cemetery Road to the state trail.

The agreement stipulates that the city will pay 75 percent of the construction costs of these trail sections and the township will pay 25 percent. (The trail committee has secured a federal grant that would cover 80 percent of the trail costs to connect the city to the city beach.)

Once these sections are complete, the city will be responsible for 62 percent of the maintenance costs, and the township will pay 38 percent of maintenance costs. The city will own 75 percent of these trail sections, and the township will own 25 percent.

The joint powers agreement also stipulates that a joint powers trail committee will be formed by the city and Paynesville Township. The committee will consist of seven people, three from the city, three from the township, and one at-large member. This number was questioned when the agreement was originally addressed by the council. The original draft agreement called for a six-person committee - three from the city and three from the township. Jeff Bertram, chairman of the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail and a new city council member, questioned whether the committee should include one at-large member. Bertram presumed that he would be on the committee, and as the trail chairman, he would represent the trail, not the city nor the township, he said.

The township and the city have agreed to this committee format.

*The council approved appointing outgoing city council member Harlan Beek, public works director Ron Mergen, and city administrator Steve Helget to the joint powers trail committee.

*The council approved changing the original wording in the trail agreement to state that a quorum would be four members not three.

*The council approved appointing city attorneys Frauenshuh and Spooner to provide legal services as it pertains to the new trail committee and the trail.

*The committee approved dissolving the ad-hoc joint trail committee, as it will be replaced by the new joint powers trail committee.

*After a closed session, the council approved making a settlement offer of $200,000 to Jason Mages for property acquired through condemnation for the Paynesville Municipal Airport.

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