MT. PLEASANT—Plans to extend a paved walking trail now circling a small section of Mt. Pleasant more than 4 miles into Spring City took a big step forward recently when the Mt. Pleasant mayor signed a $500,000 grant agreement.
On June 14, Justin Atkinson, former city councilman, who has been spearheading the trail project for more than three years, joined with Monte Bona, executive director of the Community Redevelopment and Development Agency (CRDA), to answer questions from the CDRA board, whose membership is the same as the Mt. Pleasant City Council.
Atkinson is co-chair of the Main Street Committee’s Community Development Subcommittee. The Main Street Committee serves as an advisory committee to the CDRA.
Atkinson and Bona revealed that more than $1.2 million in grants had been for the trail, which is enough to complete construction at no cost to Mt. Pleasant taxpayers.
The trial will begin at the southern end of the existing walking trail. It will follow an easement through land behind Sanpete Valley Hospital where a subdivision is planned.
The easement will lead to the U.S. 89-S.R. 117 intersection. The route will continue along the east side of the S.R. 117 to Spring City.
The trail will be 10-feet-wide and have two segments. A 4-foot segment will be paved with asphalt and be intended as a walking or biking trail. The other 6 feet will be unpaved for horses, ATVs or motorcycles.
Mayor Mike Olson said he was not concerned about construction costs, but he was concerned about ongoing maintenance expenses. Atkinson said grants do not require snow removal, and he had received assurances that trail users would take care of maintenance needs.
Bona presented a rundown of grants for the project and then cited examples of how money had been saved on the Contoy Arena and aquatics center projects by having the city act as the general contractor.
On ConToy Arena, a non-profit corporation called Arapeen Community Advisors was formed, with Main Street Committee Chairman Steven J. Clark as president. Arapeen acted as the general contractor over the project, which saved the city more than $300,000.
Clark, then an employee of CentraCom Interactive, spent nearly a year working on the arena. He says that CentraCom’s donation of his time was a major contribution to the project.
“We wouldn’t have had the arena today had not Steve Clark taken on that project,” Bona said.
Atkinson, who is an engineer, will oversee the trail project just as Clark did the arena.
Although Mt. Pleasant is administering the trail project, it is ultimately a mutual project of Sanpete County, Mt. Pleasant and Spring City.
Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County economic development director, says the county is fully on board with the project. He says that anything the county can do to facilitate connection and cooperation between communities has the county’s full support.
Spring City sees itself as both a starting point and destination, says Spring City Mayor Chris Anderson. He says the project will contribute not just to closer ties between the two communities but also benefit the health and wellbeing of users. He describes the trail as an attractive community amenity for visitors and residents alike.