• Thu September 04 2008
  • Posted Sep 4, 2008
By LAURA ANDREWS, HAMPTON — The potential to ride a bicycle from Coulter to Allison and beyond is now closer to reality for Franklin and Butler counties. “Basically Franklin and Butler County conservations have signed an agreement to a 32-mile railroad corridor from Union Pacific,” said Dennis Carlson, Franklin County Conservation director. The corridor will be called the Rolling Prairie Trail and go through Coulter, Hampton, Hansell, Dumont, Bristow and Allison. The project has been in the works the past 10 years. “It’s quite exciting to reach this point,” Carlson said. The corridor was recently purchased by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and will be turned over to the Butler and Franklin counties once fundraising is complete. Franklin County must raise $67,000 and Butler County around $60,000. This will also enable them to receive two federal grants totaling $600,000 and an Iowa Department of Transportation grant for $150,000. “Fundraising for purchase will go fairly quickly,” Carlson said. “Once we get into the planning that will be done in phases because cost per miles to develop the trail.” The planning will also decide what type of trail it will be. “In Franklin we’re in process of instigating a citizen advisory group to start planning on what we want the trail to be — biking, hiking, horseback riding or snowmobiling,” he said. “It is a fairly expensive process so we want to make sure we’re coming up with what people want to see.”

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