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A brou ha ha over bike trails bubbles up again

Tue, 15 May 2012 16:42:59 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Long running minority opposition to accepting federal money to build more bicycle trails in McLean County has flared up again. The latest failed NO vote on the County Board came on acceptance of an $800,000 federal grant to extend the constitution trail from Towanda 2.5 miles north. John Butler argued someone has to say no to federal spending.


But, member Stan Hoselton says nearly every department in the county gets that kind of money....


None of those opposed to bike trail construction grants have suggested turning down the approximately $750,000 federal dollars a year that go to county and township roads.


Objectors such as George Wendt claim trails should be built locally and perhaps paid for by users. Board member Eric Rankin has a different approach to government.


Other supporters of the trail extension noted the project is part of an intergovernmental agreement with Chenoa, Bloomington, and Normal. They note such amenities are a key part of quality of life in the area. The majority says the County should live up to its word. Construction on the latest piece of trail would begin next year if all parties agree to apply for the federal grant for 80% of the project cost. McLean County's share would be $50,000. The Village of Chenoa is also showing reluctance to pay its share of the cost, but Hoselton says he will "put on his Dale Carnegie to bring them around."

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