Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Federal COVID-19 relief money may pave some trails in the Southtown area of Kalona.
The Washington County Conservation Board and the city of Kalona got the blessing from the Washington County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to apply for a COVID-19 Relief Trail Grant.
“We’re all together on this grant application,” Conservation Executive Director Zach Rozmus told the board. “Part of our five-year plan was to have paved trails. This could expedite that timeline.”
Rozmus said that the state received $5 million earmarked for trail development from the federal government’s COVID-19 relief package.
Rozmus did not say how much money would be requested, only calling it a “significant amount.”
He added that they were not seeking funds from the county, only a letter of endorsement for the application.
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that the city has bought into the trail plan through the development process.
“We’ve allocated funds for that trail to kick start the process,” Schlabaugh said.
The grant would cover the cost of paving about 2.25 miles of trail from the trailhead off 133rd Street, south through existing timber to the former Shiloh church swimming area and looping back.
Adam Kos, of CJ Moyna and Sons, the developer of the Southtown area of Kalona, said the trails have always been part of the plan for the property.
“Pre-COVID, this was already in the plans,” Kos said. “We spent some time this fall carving out some of the trails.
“It makes the application more attractive because we already have the plans in place.”
Kos said that the main trail connects all the features they plan to provide in the development, including a dog park, disc golf and naturescape park.
He added that paving the trail will “broaden the demographics of who can use it.”
Looking to the future, Rozmus said that the project will provide an opportunity for a future trail project that extends into the county.
Schlabaugh said that the city has similar hopes of being able to connect City Park in Kalona to the Southtown Area.
“I think this will be another gem for the county,” Schlabaugh said.
Rozmus said that the application deadline is May 17.