Though a sharp drop in housing and park impact fees has left no unclaimed funds in the city’s park’s budget, city officials are considering the possibility of loaning $50,000 to the fund in order to complete most of a bike trail plan proposed by the trail committee.
“We’re still working on the budget, but the council has expressed their support,” said Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker. Council and staff are still working on the budget, which is expected to be approved in about two weeks.
The proposed loan would take care of many of the improvements hoped for by the Centerville trails committee, outlining a bike path that travels north along 400 West from 400 South to 2025 North.
The trail will then turn west along 2025 North, connecting to the Frontage Road before continuing north to Farmington.
The trail will be marked along most of 400 West by striping, with the parking and bike lanes being shared along the residential portion of the road (the space will be approximately 10 to 11 feet wide) and with separate bike lanes along the business portion of the roadway (south of Parrish Lane).
The trail will also be marked by signage, with “bike lane” signs in the southern portion and “share the road” signs along the rest of the distance.
The only aspect of the trails committee’s bike lane proposal that would not be able to be funded by the proposed loan would be the widening of a portion of Frontage Road, which would make it wide enough to allow both cars and separately striped bike lanes.
Despite this, part of the proposed loan would still go toward adding “share the road” signs to the stretch of roadway included in the current trail.
Though the loan has been earmarked in the tentative budget, it won’t be official until it survives the next two weeks of discussions and is approved as part of the final budget.
If it is included in that approval, the money would come out of the general fund over the next year and would be expected to be repaid when home development and park impact fees begin increasing again.
“They don’t have the funds to do this without making the loan,” said Thacker. “We expect that the money will be paid back sometime over the next couple of years.”
There are currently several official bike trails in Centerville, including one that goes along the entire length of Frontage Road and one each in Porter Walton Park, Centerville Community Park, and Freedom Hills Park.
Bike lane improvements, the possibility of widening Frontage Road, and striping were also discussed by the trails committee and city council in 2007.