by Steve Peterson
On Feb. 19, Plymouth County Supervisor Craig Anderson gave a report on a Siouxland Metropolitan Regional Planning Council (SIMPCO) meeting on the proposed regional bike trail at the supervisors’ meeting.
The next bike trail meeting is May 29 at SIMPCO.
From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on March 12 at Sioux City Public Library and March 19 at Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, there will be public meetings for input.
“Plymouth County has designated bike trails,” said Anderson.
The group, Floyd River Valley Trail Plan, has been discussing its options at monthly meetings.
“There has been some discussion about a trail from Merrill to Hinton, using an old railroad right-of-way that is no longer in use,” he said. “There is also discussion that the bike enthusiasts would like to bike along the Floyd River instead of on the roads and the trails but then you enter private property and bike trails cannot condemn property.”
“There was a cost estimate given at the meeting, of $7.5 to $10 million if they made this an independent bike trail,” said Anderson.
“(Plymouth County Engineer) Tom Rohe and I had some discussion with Woodbury County regarding the bike trail signs, which need to be installed and maintained,” he said. “There could be $5,000 – $10,000 to purchase and install signs, not including future maintenance, he said. “It takes a lot of road use money that we don’t have enough of.”
“(County supervisors and County Engineer Tom Rohe) are not going to let someone put a sign up on our roadway,” said Anderson. “In cities it is different because you have the concentration of population and it is easier for a city to put a bike trail in.”
“The long term goal is to get from Le Mars to Sioux City with Orange City and Sioux Center tapping into a bike trail from Sioux City to Okoboji,” said Anderson.
In other county business:
• John Ahlers of Le Mars was appointed to the Plymouth County Zoning Board to replace Darrell Schroeder of Le Mars, who retired. The vote was 3-0 by supervisors.
There was some discussion of a recognition program for people who volunteer to serve on such committees but outgoing members are always thanked.
“People step up and volunteer for the betterment of their community,” said Supervisor Jim Henrich.
• Supervisors discussed the subdivision process regarding a proposed Wolf Moon re-subdivision in Westfield Township. Due to a frontage error, the original approval at Feb. 5 meeting will have to be rescinded, Anderson said.
“They could go to the Board of Adjustment for a variance but as Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken said, their chances are one in 100. Variances are for extreme hardship. Not wanting to move a pin 50 feet is not a hardship,” said Anderson.
“Lucken has told the property owners this has to be undone,”
said Anderson, adding it could be an agenda matter on Feb. 26.
“The Board of Adjustment functions totally independent of the supervisors,” said Anderson.
No Board of Adjustment meeting is planned in the near future.
• Plymouth County supervisors meet each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at their board room, first floor, of the Plymouth County Courthouse, 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars.