Fundraising underway to pave original portions of Butterfly Trail

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Monona City Council would like to see more fundraising underway before contributing to efforts to pave the two original sections of Monona’s Butterfly Trail.

Council members made the decision March 2, after considering a request from Butterfly Garden and Trail Committee volunteer Jim Langhus to purchase a piece of equipment called a TRAILrider, which could be pulled behind a truck or other vehicle to pave the trail.

Langhus hoped the city would be willing to foot the $16,000 cost for the TRAILrider, leaving it up to the committee to seek donations to pave the 5,100-foot stretch with concrete. 

He said it will cost $102,000 to finish the project. A $200 donation will sponsor a 10-foot-long section. Paving will likely occur section by section, as funds come in.

“A lot of people use the trail,” acknowledged councilwoman Heather Lange, but she said it might be best to wait on the big purchase.

“We don’t want to buy [the TRAILrider] then have it sitting there because there’s no money for concrete,” said councilman Andrew Meyer. “If we have money for concrete when it hits the ground, then we can use it when we get it.”

Once the committee hits $10,000 in donations, the council said it will consider the TRAILrider purchase.

Langhus said $2,500 has already been collected. The committee will now reach out to the community through brochures and press releases for additional help.

Loan agreement approved for Page Street project

At its March 2 meeting, the council approved a resolution that authorized entering into a general obligation street improvement loan agreement and to borrow money not to exceed $535,000 for the North Page Street project. 

Improvements will be completed this year from the intersection of West Center and Page streets north to the railroad tracks. Plans include replacing the street surface, sidewalks, drive-in entrances and curb and gutter. Water main replacement, storm water drainage improvements and sanitary sewer manhole structure upgrades will also be done, and the city has plans to update lighting.

Other business

In other business, the council approved covering $625 in insurance costs for the truck and tractor pull at this year’s Monona Hay Days celebration. 

Members also accepted a quote from Don’s Trucks to replace the city snow plow that was hit by a train last month. After the insurance settlement, the city has to cover $11,300 of the cost.

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