Dakota Rail Trail

Dakota Rail Trail

The Dakota Rail Regional Trail east of Lester Prairie. McLeod County is seeking funding for more work on the trail, but it won’t include paving.

McLeod County will seek state money to make further improvements to the Dakota Rail Trail.

At its meeting earlier this month, the County Board approved the hiring of SRF Consulting Group of Minneapolis to apply for Legacy dollars on behalf of the county. The cost is not to exceed $1,715 from the parks budget.

Legacy funds are tax dollars earmarked for natural resources, culture, parks and trails. Voters approved the creation of the Legacy Fund in 2008. Lawmakers decide how the money is distributed each session.

The next stage of the plan for the Dakota Rail Trail is to improve the area between County Road 4 and County Road 1.

Included in the plan is “basically everything except for paving,” said Public Works director John Brunkhorst. If the county is offered a grant based on the application, and if it is accepted, work will include drainage repairs, bridge repairs, culvert work and work on the gravel base.

“It’s certainly something we could apply for and do it ourselves in house, but these guys are the experts and they have done previous ones for us,” Brunkhorst said.

He told Board Member Doug Krueger he was confident the work could be done within the proposed payment amount.

A previous grant was used to pave the 2-mile segment of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail from the Carver County line to County Road 1 on the west end of Lester Prairie. The grant was for $647,000 and called for a local $33,000 match.

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