Many area residents came out to celebrate the official opening of the Boone County Trails System, Phase I, during a short program last Thursday evening, Oct. 18.
The trail is a newly completed concrete 1.8-mile “double loop” circuit through the Boone County Fairgrounds, county-owned property south of the fairgrounds, and around the perimeter of Fuller Park.
Rex Mahoney, chairman of the trail committee, provided a brief summary of the project, which was formally announced in June 2017.
“This idea wasn’t new. The idea for a walking path had been around for some time,” said Mahoney. It didn’t happen back when first proposed, he said. “I think times have changed since then and people are much more health and safety conscious today than just a few years ago.”
The trail plan gained momentum, Mahoney said, because the county had recently acquired more property south of the fairgrounds, there were new residential developments close by, and the city was already making sidewalk improvements.
Boone County Foundation Fund (BCFF) brought in “movers and shakers” to see the project through, and committee members sought cooperation from the city, county and fair board.
Members of the trail committee, in addition to Mahoney, were Andrew Devine, Tina Stokes, Jay Wolf, Michelle Olson, Doug Koch, Hilary Maricle, Chuck Rolf and Ben Edwards.
Fund-raising efforts began in mid-2017, and a goal of $350,000 was set. Both grants and donations were received.
By April 2018, nearly all funds had been raised and a bid-letting was held. The $326,148 contract was awarded to B & S Concrete of Petersburg, and the first concrete pour was made in June.
Read the complete story in the Oct. 24 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.