By Jon Tatting
The Rush City Council on April 23 was pleased to hear that progress is being made on a walking trail that will keep residents and students safe from busy road traffic.
Park Board Chairman Bob Frandsen gave an update on the proposed Co. Rd. 7 trail, planned in part to stretch from the south side of 7 over to Jay and Keller streets near the former roller skating rink/church building.
The goal, he noted, is to keep people — from pedestrians to student track and cross country runners — off of the county road by giving them a safer route away from the busy traffic that uses the roadway. Trails are expensive to build, he added, so the board is seeking matching fund grants.
Frandsen said the trail project may need a board walk to cross a section of shallow swampland, and a few property owners have already agreed to allow the trail to go through their land. Easements are still needed on some private property.
He also spoke highly of other trail sections, including the proposed sidewalk system that will give both walkers and students a safe route along the fairgrounds and up to the schools’ main entrance on Fairfield.
Yet it’s Co. Rd. 7 and the issue of safety that Frandsen and others remain especially concerned about. “There’s no question a trail is needed there,” said Councilor Al Hoffman.
In other news, councilors:
• Closed the public portion of the meeting to discuss and consider a personnel issue involving the Rush City Fire Department.
• Learned an advertisement spotlighting local businesses and coupons will be published in the local Scotsman to help promote the Rush City businesses affected by street construction. The ad includes a map of detour routes to help guide traffic.
• Received an update on the 4th Street turnback project. According to City Administrator Amy Mell: gravel is just about complete from Bremer to Field, while curb and gutter and sidewalk is expected this week.
Water and sewer is now finished from the west end to Irving Avenue, though storm sewer is ongoing. The Irving intersection is closed at this time, and paving from Bremer to Field could begin as early as May 7 or 8.
“Construction is moving along quite well,” said Mayor Nancy Schroeder. “I think people are excited to see the final product.” She and councilors also commended the construction crew for being very accommodating to residents and businesses.
• Acknowledged Rush City Community Clean-up Day, which is set for Saturday, May 19 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Due to road construction, the event will be held at the Rush City Public Works garage. For more information, call city hall at 320-358-4743.