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Stutsman County Park Board to decide on grant application for recreation project

In World
April 04, 2024

Apr. 4—JAMESTOWN — The Stutsman County Park Board unanimously approved scheduling a special meeting to decide on whether to apply for a grant that would be used to establish a water trail at Jamestown Reservoir.

The special meeting was scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 9.

Park board member Henry Steinberger will get more information on the cost of items to establish sites for kayak stations along Jamestown Reservoir that other members can review before the special meeting.

Stutsman County Commissioner Joan Morris said she wanted to see a more detailed budget that shows the costs of the items. She said the information will allow her to see if the county would have to absorb any additional costs in the future.

Steinberger has proposed the Dakota Skies Outdoor Recreation Area project which would establish a trail around Jamestown Reservoir for maintenance and recreation. The project would be done on Stutsman County land formerly owned by the Bureau of Reclamation.

The project includes the development of water and perimeter trails along the reservoir.

In the current proposal, off-highway vehicles, bicyclists and hikers would be able to use the trails along the reservoir.

The project would also create a 14-mile water trail from Jamestown Dam to a fish gate about 3 miles north of the Buchanan bridge.

The project would improve access to the shoreline and the county-owned land where there is limited access, Steinberger previously told The Jamestown Sun. He also said the improved access allows the county park department to better maintain the land.

Steinberger is seeking park board approval to apply for two grants — the James Valley Water Trail Grant and the Dakota Skies Outdoor Recreation Area — through the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department’s Recreational Trails Program. The opportunity to apply for the grants opened April 1 and closes April 14.

The Recreational Trails Program funds up to 80% of eligible costs for trails projects, according to the program’s manual. Stutsman County would provide the other 20%.

Grant awards are limited to a minimum of $30,000 and a maximum of $250,000. The county’s share of the matching grant would be $62,500 if it receives the maximum of $250,000.

The project would be eligible for two grants through the Recreational Trails Program and could potentially be awarded $500,000.

The James Valley Water Trail Grant would be for establishing a water trail on Jamestown Reservoir. The funds could be used for kayak stations and equipment to move them.

The other grant could be used to purchase equipment to maintain the county land. The grant funds could be used to establish trails along the reservoir.

Stutsman County Commissioner Jerry Bergquist said the public is not as interested in having a trail for off-highway vehicle use. He said there wasn’t a lot of opposition against applying for the water trail grant.

Morris and Bergquist also wanted more information on what the water trail grant funds can be used for. Both said grant funds have to be used for specific purposes that an applicant states on the application.

Bergquist said all the details of the Dakota Skies Outdoor Recreation Area project need to be finalized. He said the park board only gets one time to do the project the right way.

Morris said further planning of the project is needed. She said discussions need to happen with adjacent landowners as well. She said more financial information on the project is needed such as a yearly estimate for maintenance and creating a fund to help pay for damage on the trails.

Park board member Merri Mooridian said more recreational trails are needed at Jamestown Reservoir. She said the park board needs to make it a priority to see how the reservoir land can be used.

Joel Lees, county resident, said park board members need to look at the land where the perimeter trails are proposed. He said a trail cannot be built through the land.

Commission Chairman Mark Klose said the land where the trails would go through would require townships to change the zoning of the property to recreational use.

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