WARSAW — The city of Warsaw is looking to develop two new trails.
One would be along part of Country Club Road on the west side of Winona Lake. The other would be a loop in a privately-owned wetland area between Marketplace of Warsaw and Lake Village Shopping Center.
The first step is to conduct a feasibility study of both ideas to determine if it is workable The city is turning to grant money to fund much of those two studies.
The city was given permission by the Board of Works and Safety Friday, Oct. 18, to apply for a $10,000 grant from the K21 Health Foundation to help cover the cost of a study for a trail along Country Club Road.
Similarly, the city will seek $10,000 from Kosciusko Community Foundation for a study looking at a trail that would be east and north of Forest Park mobile home park south of Marketplace of Warsaw.
The trail along Country Club Road would be about a mile long and would help improve safety conditions, said Senior Planner Justin Taylor.
In a memo to the board of works, Taylor said the narrow stretch of road is heavily used by people who are “circumnavigating the lake for recreation.” The study will be in conjunction with Winona Lake.
The studies will help officials understand the cost of the projects, Taylor wrote.
He said that by laying the groundwork now, the city will be in a better position to seek state and federal money for engineering and construction.
A tentative drawing of the looping trail provided by the city would include extensions that connect to Pioneer Lane to the west and Durbin Street to the east.
The hope is to create a trail that connects both retail areas, Taylor said.
The land for the proposed trail is owned by Acres Land Trust, which has indicated the land is available to be developed.
Much of the land is a swampy wetland and trail would likely rely in part on the construction of a wooden path or pier, Taylor said.
The plans have the support of Kosciusko County Velo and the Ride-Walk Steering Committee.
The Ride-Walk Steering committee submitted a letter of support.
The County Club Trail offers an opportunity to greatly improve safety for cyclists, runners and walkers. Those groups often use County Club Road as a way to complete a loop around Winona Lake after traveling on the excellent Winona Lake greenways and the relatively low-traffic streets around the south side of the lake. County Club Road is much busier with no shoulders to permit safe riding or pedestrian travel, the steering committee letter said in part.
The group says the East Lake Trail would offer an opportunity to connect to existing trail components.
Acres Land Trust has expressed an interest in developing an educational component, which the steering committee said would make it “uniquely attractive.”
In other matters, the board approved a memo of understanding between the city and Warsaw Community Schools for the installation of two new signs aimed at improving safety along the Harrison Elementary school zone on Husky Trail, where a youngster died earlier this year after being struck by a car.
The new signs will be solar-powered and will warn motorists they are entering a school zone and tell them how fast they are traveling.
The city and school district will split the $11,486 cost to purchase the signs.
The school system will be responsible for programming the signs to be in the blinking mode during specific hours the school is in session. The district will also cover maintenance and repair of the signs.
The agreement was presented to the board by Street Department Superintendent Jeff Beeler.
The signs are being purchased from TAPCO Safe Travels of Brown Deer, Wisc.
Beeler also informed the board that the city has been awarded a $22,000 grant through the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Rail Programs Office to pay for new pavement markings at all railroad crossings in the city.
The road painting is scheduled to happen next spring except for crossings where road work is scheduled, Beeler said.
The board also witnessed the swearing-in of Justin Lewis, a police officer who has fulfilled his one-year probationary period with the department.
Police Chief Scott Whitaker said the department still has four vacancies. He said the promotional videos unveiled earlier this year continue to enhance the city’s marketing efforts toward attracting candidates. He said two of the top candidates being considered in the current pool are from outside the area said the films were part of the reason they applied.