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City, county blaze new trails in collaboration

Fort Dodge, Webster County join forces to create recreation assets

It will be possible to take a leisurely stroll all around Badger Lake at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park by the end of next year.

And those who already hike on the Fort Dodge Nature Trail all the way north out of town will have some extra distance to go after another section of trail is built onto its current endpoint on 170th Street in a couple of years.

Both of those trail extensions will become reality because of teamwork between the Fort Dodge City Council and the Webster County Board of Supervisors. The trail projects reflect a growing level of collaboration that likely would not have been possible 15 or 20 years ago.

Both governing bodies have approved a memorandum of understanding that clears the way for the trails. Under that deal, the city will give the county a $350,000 grant it received for trails. It will also give the county $225,000 in matching funds. The county will use that money to complete the trail loop around Badger Lake by November 2021.

In return, the county will build a paved trail from the northern endpoint of the Nature Trail to a spot near 160th Street and Oates Avenue at its cost by the end of November 2022.

The projects will enhance the already robust trail system found in Fort Dodge and Webster County. Trails are an asset in a community. It seems like every time some organization does a survey of what people would like in their town, trails are mentioned again and again.

A lot of money will be spent on the upcoming projects. But behind that spending is a sense of common purpose that continues to bring the city and the county together to benefit citizens. That did not always exist here. In a lot of places across the country it still doesn’t exist.

Our city and county leaders should be congratulated on their collaborative approach to serving the people.

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