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Rockwood trail could proceed as planned

Park group raises $70,000 in donations to help pay for extension

Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

MORRISON – The Morrison-Rockwood Trail project could proceed as originally planned if the City Council approves a change to its Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant funding at its meeting Monday.

In June 2011, the city received a grant for $390,700 to extend the bike path toward Rockwood State Park by about a mile. The city would have been responsible for 20 percent of the grant, or $78,140.

The city also received a snowmobile grant for $11,085, which the city could apply to its 20 percent share, leaving it responsible for $67,055.

Officials feared the city would not be able to cover that amount, so in December they asked that several tasks be reclassified from "contracted bid" to "donated labor and/or material," reducing the total grant to $256,500, City Administrator Jim Wise said.

Among the services or materials to be donated were erosion control, brush and tree removal, culvert and gravel placement, seeding and restoration.

Since then, the Friends of the Parks have secured about $70,000 in donations to ensure the city does not shoulder the burden of extending the trail, according to a letter from the group.

Friends of the Parks has requested the reclassified labor and material be reinstated to the original proposal under the $390,700 grant.

The path would be four-fifths of a mile, linking the covered bridge over Rock Creek north of the city to Damen Road, near the state park.

Also Monday, the council:

– Will be asked to accept a $14,000 grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency so the city can complete its application to have the downtown placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

– Will be asked to authorize the mayor to work with historic preservation consultants In Alliance of Springfield to complete the application.

– Will consider a request to allow dogs in Grove Hill Cemetery. A city ordinance adopted in 2011 prohibits dogs from being in the cemetery. Past efforts to change the ordinance to allow dogs in the cemetery have failed.

To attend

The Morrison City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the Whiteside County Board Room at the Whiteside County Law Enforcement Center, 400 N. Cherry St. Go to morrisonil.org/downloads or call 815-772-7657 for an agenda or more information.

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