Board puts additional support behind trail project

MARSHALL – Lyon County Commissioners lent their support to pursuing additional funding for a regional bike trail project on Tuesday. At their regular meeting, members of the county board heard an update on the trail project connecting Camden State Park and the cities of Lynd and Marshall and passed a resolution of support for a Legacy grant application with a 10 percent county match.

In December, the Camden trail project received a $1.4 million state Legacy grant. That funding is being used to construct the first phase of the trail, which includes a segment running south of Marshall out of Wayside Rest Park, and a segment running through Camden Park and into the city of Lynd. Both of those segments started construction this year.

Lyon County Highway Engineer Aaron VanMoer and Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said the city of Marshall and the county are also applying for grant funding for the second phase of the trail, which includes a segment between Marshall and Lynd dubbed the “Savannah Oaks segment,” for the golf course it would pass by. The construction cost for this segment of trail is about $750,000, VanMoer said. If the county is unable to acquire land easements from Savannah Oaks, Legacy grant money could also be used to build the trail segment along the right of way for Minnesota Highway 23.

Martig said the grant application would also include construction of informational signage along the trail and an additional half-mile trail segment in Marshall. He said the short trail segment would help expand the overall trail, by connecting the Camden trail to existing city trails running from Minnesota Highway 19 to the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University.

VanMoer and Martig said the city of Marshall would be contributing a 10 percent match toward the trail signage. Because having a local match contribution would help improve the grant application’s chances of being accepted, they also recommended the county provide a 10 percent match for construction of the trail segment.

Commissioners voted in favor of supporting the grant application.

In other business, commissioners voted to approve forming a joint powers group that will allow Lyon County and neighboring counties to pursue self-funded health insurance. Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said the joint powers agreement was being considered by Lyon, Redwood, Murray and Swift counties on Tuesday. Southwest Health and Human Services will consider the joint powers agreement today, Stomberg said.

At an earlier meeting, commissioners had voted to give notice to Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative of Lyon County’s intent not to renew insurance services from the cooperative.

Commissioners approved a request for a conditional use permit for Marshall Municipal Utilities to build a water main connecting the city of Marshall with a well field in Sandnes Township in Yellow Medicine County. County ditch inspector Todd Hammer said the 20-inch pipeline will enter Lyon County in Vallers Township and pass through Vallers, Fairview, and Lake Marshall townships. The pipeline route would travel within the right of way for the townships, the county and the state of Minnesota.

In building the pipeline, Hammer said, MMU plans to do as much earth boring as possible to avoid disrupting driveways and county ditches.