The city will apply for a couple of grants to study possible new routes for the Ride+Walk Trail.

At the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Friday, city Senior Planner Justin Taylor asked the board for permission to apply for two grants, which was approved.

The first grant request is for $10,000 from the K21 Health Foundation to help fund a feasibility study for the Country Club Road Trail to the west of Winona Lake.

Mayor Joe Thallemer said it was for “the section of the Ride+Walk Trail that was originally on our Ride+Walk master plan. There are some opportunities for funding. We need to get a little bit more detailed in the scope of the project and the potential cost of the project, which gives us a little bit more advantage as we apply for these grants.”

Taylor said the contract for the feasibility study would come back before the Board of Works if the grant is approved. He said the total amount for the feasibility study is $14,950.

“This is part of the Ride+Walk pedestrian master plan that was done a few years ago, and it’s to look at the feasibility of running a stretch of trail along Country Club Road. This is a relatively narrow stretch of road. There are a lot of people who use it for recreational purposes to navigate around the lake. Having a trail system here would be extremely beneficial to the community as a whole, even to the point where we would have events or races around the lake,” Taylor said.

Thallemer agreed it was a very busy stretch of road that was identified early on in the Ride+Walk master plan.

“I know it would connect potentially to our Smith Street trail, and all the way back to the south side of the lake and over to Winona. I think it’s a pretty important piece of the trail system,” Thallemer said, but noted it’s a challenging section because it’s narrow there.

The first step to incorporate it would be the feasibility study to try to understand the challenges and costs.

“I applaud the Ride+Walk Committee, the local VELO club, for initiating this,” Thallemer said.

The second grant request is for $10,000 from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation to help fund a feasibility study for the Forest Park Trail near the Eastlake subdivision.

Thallemer said, “This would be from Eastlake trailer park down, that would connect up to Frontage Road.”

He said it was not originally in the Ride+Walk master plan.

“I think there’s been an opportunity for some land there that has been offered to the city,” Thallemer said.

Taylor said the city tries to stick to the Ride+Walk master plan as much as possible when considering projects, “but this one seemed like a unique opportunity. Acres Land Trust approached the Ride+Walk Committee to review the potential for a project in this area.”

He said the appeal of this project is that there’s one landowner who was “very willing” to work with the city on the project.

“There’s a lot of educational opportunities and different aspects of this project that could be very, very good for the city,” Taylor said. “This is also in an area where there may be different funding options available. It came about relatively quickly and we’re kind of eager to get an idea of what the whole scope of the project is.”

Thallemer said Forest Park mobile home park has one way in and out.

“Creating some pedestrian-type and Ride+Walk-type access out of the back side of that park makes a lot of sense for us,” Thallemer said.

The grant application was approved.