Archived Story

Our Opinion: Finishing trail is good for county

Published 8:44am Tuesday, May 20, 2014


After decades of planning, discussion and work by local leaders, the Shooting Star Trail is finally set to extend to Austin — or at least close to Austin.

The Bonding Bill passed by the Legislature last week includes about $2.16 to complete the Shooting Star Trail from Rose Creek to Austin.

Many area residents have questioned in the past if trails are the best use of taxpayer dollars, but groups like Vision 2020’s Bike/Walk Trail committee and Prairie Visions proved there just as many — if not more — residents that support a system of interconnected trails.

With 20 miles of the Shooting Star already paved, it only makes sense to connect the trail to Austin and the community’s trail system within town.

Hopefully, the $2.16 million, which is short of the $2.5 million in the House bill, will be enough to complete the trail to Austin.

A lot happened in the 2014 session, and — like every year — some of the votes passed in St. Paul will prove to be the wrong decisions for Minnesota. But there will be plenty of time for debate. Campaign season kicks into high gear now that the legislative session is over and now that the filing period for elected office opened today.

But to us, connecting the Shooting Star Trail to the largest population center in the county and finishing a project that dates to the 1990s was a good decision.

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