BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – The Lee County Conservation Board is looking at options for repairing the trail around Pollmiller Park.
At Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Lee County Conservation Director Nathan Unsworth said the current trail is more than 20 years old and is in need of repair or full replacement.
Stephen Pedrick, a project manager with the engineering firm French-Reneker, said the best option at this point would be to tear the trail out and reclaim the surface as a base and then add four inches of asphalt.
‘We looked at different options for rehabbing the trail and the first thing we looked at, which is generally the most cost effective, is a mill and overlay,” Pedrick said.
But he said when he got out to walk the trail he could see it wasn’t in very good shape to be able to mill it. That would require patching and then an overlay, but it would turn into a project full of patches.
“That led us to look at a different option of a full depth reclamation where we would mill the entire depth of asphalt surface and then lay that back down on the base and then add four inches of new asphalt on top.”
He said that is now the most cost-effective option, but would carry a price tag of close to $230,000. Pedrick said a full concrete trail would be substantially more expensive.
The trail is currently eight feet across and Pedrick said to apply for any Iowa Department of Transportation money would likely come with a requirement to make the trail 10 feet across.
“Considering the size of this project, I would lean toward staying away from the DOT money if you have a way of raising enough money otherwise.
Several grants were mentioned including a Wellmark trail grant, but the conservation district has received that recently on another project.
Lee County Conservation Director Nathan Unsworth said West Point City officials have expressed interest in helping with obtaining financing to rehab the current trail.
He said the trail has a very high usage.
“We have a lot of people walking in and out of Pollmiller all the time on that trail. We also have West Point interest from community in helping us figure out how to finance this going forward,” Unsworth said.
“We need to have a conversation with them, too.”
According to West Point City Administrator Dennis McGregor, conversations are ongoing about grant funding for the Walk-Bike path around South Park and possibly connecting that path to the Walk-Bike Path to Pollmiller.
McGregor said in a report to the West Point City Council Monday that there could be options to incorporate city grant funding with county grant funding on the combined projects.
Unsworth said the West Point officials haven’t seen the new information on the Pollmiller trail, but suggested representatives from the conservation board address the issue with the West Point City Council.
In other action, the board approved appointing Liza Alton as the new president of the board and Christopher Hayes as the new vice president.