SIKESTON -- A route for the first portion of a community walking trail is approved.
Members of the city's Walking Trail Committee presented their recommendations to the City Council for the trail during the regular City Council meeting Monday.
The committee, which was appointed in February, has worked since March to develop recommendations for a community walking trail to connect schools, parks and neighborhoods, according to Cal Crader, co-chairman of the committee.
"What we're talking about is a multi-use trail," Crader said, "suitable for walking, for jogging, for people in wheelchairs, people who are skating and bicycling."
Accordingly, the committee is recommending a blacktop surface for the trail, he said.
The first phase as recommended would connect the Sikeston Kindergarten Center with the Sports and Recreation Complex, according to Tom Hedrick, chairman of the Walking Trail Committee, and includes paving the existing walking trail around the lake at the Complex.
The trail would begin at Columbine along the north side of Salcedo Road just west of the kindergarten and proceed to Ingram Road, cross Ingram into the Complex just south of Campanella Drive, and continue south through the west side of the Complex to a drainage ditch crossing near the Clinton Community Building to connect it with the fitness track around the lake.
Also recommended is a "feeder" connection to Ingram Road at Kennedy Drive.
"The idea is to give everybody access," Hedrick said. He added that the long-
term plan is to use existing sidewalks where possible to connect parts of the walking trail.
The next step for the committee is to gather cost estimates for the first phase and for the city to secure funding assistance for the project.
Jiggs Moore, the city's parks division director and staff liaison for the committee, said the transportation enhancement grant program administered through the Missouri Department of Transportation and a recreational trails program through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources both offer funding for projects of this type.
Both programs require 20 percent in local matching funds, Moore said.
"I think this is something really important for us to do," said Mayor Mike Marshall. "We've a beautiful complex out there but it's hard to get to except by car."
Walking trail access would promote fitness in the community, Marshall said.
Chief Drew Juden said there are already a couple of public safety cameras along the proposed route but recommended adding two or three cameras to give more complete coverage.
The committee also recommended the next phase for the walking trail should extend from the southeast corner of the fitness track to Veterans' Park.