MoPac trail work on tap

A KDWP grant will help the city extend the former Missouri-Pacific railroad trail to the new Iola Elementary School site on the east edge of town.

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August 25, 2021 - 9:25 AM

Iola City Council members were intrigued, but noncommital, when asked about extending the Missouri Pacific trail through East Iola if voters approve construction of a new elementary school. The above map shows another possible route (along an undeveloped Benton Street corridor) the extension could follow. GOOGLE MAPS

Work will begin soon to extend the MoPac Trail to the new Iola Elementary School site on the east edge of town.

Iola City Council members formally accepted Monday a $142,449 Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks grant to extend the trail, which currently runs parallel to Benton Street from the Prairie Spirit Trail to the west to the tennis courts.

Assistant Iola City Administrator Corey Schinstock said other hurdles already have been cleared, with the condemnation and demolition of a house along First Street. Other stretches already are on city property or city rights-of-way, Schinstock said.

The grant should pay for much of the trail extension, with little to no expense incurred by the city, aside from some in-kind labor. Schinstock said another public meeting is in the works to notify nearby landowners that the project will proceed.

COUNCIL members approved Iola’s $28 million budget for 2022, which is supported in part by a property tax levy of about 48 mills.

That means the owner of a $75,000 home would spend about $414 to support Iola’s general fund. Of note, this does not include property tax obligations to support the county, USD 257 or Allen Community College.

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