SIKESTON -- The first phase of a citywide community trail may be ready for walkers, joggers and bicyclists by the end of this year.
During their regular meeting Monday, City Council members approved using $400,000 of the city's Surface Transportation Program funds and $162,000 in local matching funds to build a trail connecting the Kindergarten Center, the Sikeston Sports and Recreation Complex and Veterans Park.
Jiggs Moore, parks division director, said this is a good use of the federal STP funds, which are routed through the Missouri Department of Transportation, because it will enable the city to complete the first phase of what officials hope will eventually be a citywide trail.
Future plans for the trail include connecting it to a sidewalk on Ables Road and to R.S. Matthews Park on the south side of the city.
City Manager Doug Friend said the city in the past has used its allocation of STP funds for street projects and to help fund the construction of the traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway HH.
Moore said the city can use money from the city's Transportation Sales Tax for the local matching funds.
This first phase of the walking trail is a little over two miles in length and will be 10-foot-wide asphalt except for a short brick paver spur connecting it to Veterans Park.
"This is a real good deal for the citizens of Sikeston," said Mayor Mike Marshall.
"It's possible you will see some of this construction -- or all of it -- this year," said Tom Hedrick, chairman of the Community Trail Committee.