Council approves mountain bike trail easement agreement; Property donated by Hormel Foods Corporation

Published 7:12 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Austin City Council approved a memorandum of agreement for the mountain bike trail easement donation with Hormel Foods Corporation during its regular meeting on July 16.

The council passed a resolution approving the trail easement agreement with Hormel Foods and the Southern Minnesota Bicycling Club (SMBC) on Dec. 18. Under the agreement, Hormel Foods said it would make an easement donation on private property it owns near Todd Park to the city of Austin to “use as an unpaved recreational mountain bike trail that is approximately 18-24 inches wide.” The trail is to be designated for public use.

Hormel Foods granted the easement on July 2.

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The SMBC established the trail in 2015, with permission from Hormel Foods, for use by the SMBC and the Austin Cycling Team (ACT). At that time, only members of the SMBC and ACT had authorization to use it.

Under the agreement, the SMBC and ACT will still have authorization to hold competitive events at the site, at which point it would be closed to the public. The ACT will also be able to conduct training and practice activities on the trail.

The agreement grants Hormel Foods immunity from any liability associated with the trail and waives all obligations on the part of Hormel Foods to provide any maintenance, security or emergency services.

The city and the SMBC will be responsible for the maintenance of the trail. Any work done by volunteers from the SMBC must be coordinated through the city. The SMBC must also obtain liability waivers for any volunteers conducting maintenance on the trail as well as proper insurance for should they decide to extend, change or re-build the current trail outside of routine maintenance.

The city will also be responsible for the general safety of the trail, including signage, gates or barriers addressing public safety concerns.