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Several trails proposed in city plan

 


Parts of Electric City’s proposed trail system received the most “push back” of any of the features of the city’s Pathway and Revitalization plan.

In workshops and before the council, local residents expressed their opposition to a planned Ice Age Floods Trail, particularly one that goes through a residential area on Lakeview.

Other segments of the trail system won unanimous approval by an Electric City resident advisory group that voted in unison on most of the trail ideas, but only 50 percent on a shoreline park off Sunny Drive.

Two of the trails, the Osborne Bay loop nature trail and the Sunbanks loop nature trail, were late features added to the plan after public workshops last spring.

The plan was put together by a team made up of Professor Kathleen Ryan and students from Washington State University’s Rural Communities Design Initiative, School of Design and Construction.

The Osborne Bay nature trail would essentially get people outdoors walking largely on game trails to advance healthy exercise and provide views of the canyon walls.

The plan includes a widening of the causeway to provide access for walkers, bikers and golf carts to the south end of the city.

The companion nature trail, in the Sunbanks Lake Resort area, would utilize game trails and provide linkage to other trails within the city, including the Peninsula Park, where the plan would provide access to and a place to recreate at a site owned by the Bureau of Reclamation that overlooks Banks Lake.

A trail from this site would connect with a future Waterfront Park, where some proponents think a water slide park could be located. The trail would snake its way through the city to Highway 155.

From there, the trail would connect Coulee Playland with North Dam Park.

The trail from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park has the number-one priority for trails, since it would ease a safety problem by providing a walkway off the main highway at a place where the highway is at its narrowest point.

The planned trail segment that has created the most stir is the one that goes down Lakeview between two residences. Both owners have expressed their opposition because they fear their privacy and security will be threatened.

Electric City set aside $40,000 to pay for the cost of the WSU plan, and to pay for engineering costs for that phase of the trail.

The city had also voted to set aside $400,000, also from its hotel/motel fund, for possible matching money for any grant requirement.

The city has emphasized that the Pathway and Revitalization plan is just that, a plan.

“It’s a 25-year plan and what parts will be done largely depends on our success in getting grants,” Deputy Clerk Russell Powers noted.

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