By Ivan Raconteur
McLEOD COUNTY, MN McLeod County Board, conducting its meeting at Lester Prairie City Hall Tuesday, approved a Dakota trails master plan.
McLeod County Parks Director Al Koglin, who was part of the committee that drafted the plan over the past year, said the plan was necessary in order to give the Dakota Rail Trail regional trail status.
This regional designation is required in order to apply for Legacy funds for improving the trail.
Koglin said the plan can be changed until the time a grant application is submitted. It will provide a framework for tuture planning for the trail corridor.
Commissioner Doug Krueger noted that the plan does not authorize spending. Any spending request would need to be brought before the bouard.
Krueger added that he thinks the Dakota Rail corridor does have regional value.
Koglin said 30 to 40 people attended a recent open house introducing the plan, and it went very well.
Commissioner Ron Shimanski offered his congratulations to the people from the Lester Prairie area who took the initiative and raised private donations to extend the usable portion of the trail from the Carver County line to the City of Lester Prairie (with a packed gravel surface). He said the trail provides an enhancement to the community.
Several area residents were present in the audience for the trail portion of the meeting.
Some of these residents noted they have met people from other places who have visited Lester Prairie via the trail. They commented that the trail will benefit the community by bringing people into the city.
The master plan involves paving the trail from the Carver County line to Hutchinson, to match the portions of the trail in Carver and Hennepin counties.