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Cass County to apply for grant for trail in Lake Shore

Lake Shore city officials on Tuesday, Jan. 21, obtained Cass County Board approval to apply for a federal grant and obtained a county pledge of $82,000 as a local match to the grant.

The city proposes a multi-use recreational trail along County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 77 through the city on the west side of Gull Lake. If successful in obtaining the grant, funds would pay to develop the first (southern-most) 2.25 miles of a paved pedestrian and bicycle trail adjacent to the highway.

Total trail development in phases over succeeding years is proposed to cover 11 miles eventually. It would lie in the public right-of-way of CSAH 77.

The federal grant would come to the county under a Transportation Alternatives Program through the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The county’s matching share pledged to the project would be paid from Cass’ interest earned on money the county received from selling former state leased lots several years ago.

It has been determined the Lake Shore project does qualify for the federal program.

Under approval the county board gave Jan. 21, the county agrees to maintain the trail in future years and further transfers that responsibility to the city. Small cities obtaining a grant under this program do not qualify to administer the funds themselves, but must have a larger agency such as the county sign on as the administrator.

The federal grant would pay $327,840 of the expected total Phase 1 cost of $600,800. Minnesota DNR money will be expected to cover the difference above the federal share and the $82,000 the county pledged.

This phase will extend from the city’s south limits up to Sherwood Forest.

Once fully completed, it is expected the Lake Shore trail will connect with existing trails to the south and proposed trails in the Nisswa area.