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Electric City calls meeting on trail plan


A proposed trail system in Electric City will get an airing from a number of organizations next Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m., in the Coulee Medical Center conference room.

The proposed trail would eventually reach from the entrance to Sunbanks Lake Resort to the city of Grand Coulee, and beyond.

The trail idea was hatched by Electric City Councilmember Brad Parrish, who has been working on the idea since early spring last year.

Coordinating the meeting will be Deputy City Clerk Russell Powers, who said last week that a number of stakeholders will take a tour of the proposed trail at 11 a.m.

Stakeholders include the Rural Communities Design Initiative team from Washington State University, Grant County Health Department, Coulee Medical Center, the engineering firm Gray & Osborne, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, Coulee Parks & Recreation District, and local council members from Electric City.

Powers said the team from WSU will begin immediately facilitating one of two community workshops to get stakeholder and community input. The work of the RCDI group from WSU will begin this month and end in April, when the university's quarter ends.

The WSU group will include a professor and several students working together with local interests to complete a report of the project's dimensions.

Electric City has already approved $40,000 from its hotel/motel tax fund to finance the trail plan, with $5,000 of that amount going to the RCDI group to pay for their expenses.

Parrish indicated to the council that the first leg of the trail would go between Coulee Playland and North Dam Park. The projected cost of that portion could be $500,000, Parrish indicated. And that was just a rough guess, Parrish told the council.

The trail would be designed to accommodate both bicycle riders and pedestrians.

Parrish stated that phase one of the trail system, from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park, would eliminate "a very dangerous" stretch of narrow roadway that walkers and bicyclists have to face today.

The RCDI uses these community engagements as a form of experiential learning for students of WSU's School of Design and Construction.

Powers stated that there are a number of potential grants that will be available to apply for in 2016, and the city's reserve fund of lodging money would take care of any matching fund need.

The city is sitting on $344,000 in lodging tax fund money, collected for promoting tourism.

The city's engineering firm, Gray & Osborne, would do the final plan for the overall project.

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