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  • Tue July 17 2007
  • Posted Jul 17, 2007
By KAREN HEINSELMAN, Courier Staff Writer READLYN --- The next three months will be critical for the community's fundraising effort to build a recreational trail. Advocates promoting the Readlyn Grump Trail, a proposed six-mile course in rural Bremer County, have the chance to earn $250,000 for the project. That's the good news --- said Andrew Sexton, spokesman for the Grump Trail Foundation. However, Sexton said in order to win the grant, fundraisers must come up with an additional $50,000 in less than 90 days. Half of that figure must come from the county; the other $25,000 from private donors. Without the additional dollars, the project will likely fall flat. "I really do think this is kind of a make-or-break deal," Sexton said. Supporters behind Readlyn's trail and Bremer County's engineer met with Vision Iowa officials last week to review negotiations for grant money. The proposed east-west stretch from Readlyn to U.S. Highway 63 is part of a planned trail system in Bremer, Butler and Franklin counties. Rolling Prairie Trails, if completed, would extend from Coulter to Readlyn. On Monday, Sexton and Readlyn Mayor Herb Clemen took their case to Bremer County supervisors. The board promised to look into the matter but did not set a date for a vote. The decision, however, must come within the 90-day time frame. "We are just going to have to consider it," Supervisor Steve Reuter said after the meeting. The county board has already contributed thousands of dollars to the project. Supervisors in 2003 agreed to purchase the right of way for the trail from Denver Construction. The price was $100,200. Federal aid paid 52 percent of that cost. Reuter said the county has already added $25,000 to the project and will provide most of the engineering services if the six-mile trail is built. Proportionally, grant money will likely fund the bulk of the $1.4 million project, which has already received a $940,000 award. Sexton acknowledged county supervisor's support. "They are putting in a lot of money, but the Vision Iowa Board wants to see them make a little bit more of the financial commitment," he said. As of last week, Readlyn had raised more than $100,000 in private donations for the project. To encourage contributors, Readlyn Savings Bank issued a challenge to match $10,000, going cent-to-cent with individual donations up to $100. A benefit dinner and auction is also scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Center Inn in Readlyn. Donations can be sent to the Readlyn Grump Trail Foundation, P.O. Box 40, Readlyn, IA 50668. Contact Karen Heinselman at (319) 291-1581 or karen.heinselman@wcfcourier.com.

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