Letter to the editor: Let’s put the ‘pride’ back in Perry

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The Dallas County Conservation Board chose the connector-trail route that runs along the old railroad right of way from 18th Street in Perry to 130th Street (Park Street).

To the editor:

I am addressing this letter to all biking enthusiast and community supporters. As you know, the connector bicycle trail route between Perry and the High Trestle Trail has been approved by the Dallas County Conservation Board.

The board chose to follow Alignment A, the preferred route along the old railroad right of way north of the high school driving range onto 130th Street (Park Street) and continuing into Bouton.

This route will allow us to hook up the established city route along with the construction of North Street between 16th and 18th streets. This is what the Perry community was campaigning for.

Now the challenge is this: We as a community would like to see construction of the connector trail start at 18th Street and go east out of Perry instead of see it start in Woodward. Why?

This trail may take from five to eight years to complete, depending on how much private donations and grants come in. I will get to that later. Construction could start as early as next year. Segments of the trail will be built as funds become available

If work on the connector trail were to begin in Perry, we as a community could start using it much sooner as a bike trail or walking trail. The public could see at firsthand that the connector trail is a reality and have tangible proof of what a big benefit it would be to our community when completed.

This awareness would help in our fund raising and raise public support for the trail.

People will be able to appreciate how nice the trail looks in appearance and how neighborhood friendly these trails are, and this will help calm the fears of any landowners with anxiety over the prospect of the trail coming near their property and through town.

As with anything, fundraising is critical. Grant money is available for these trails if matching funds are on hand. To help convince the Dallas County Conservation Board to start the construction at Perry, we are working on raising a minimum of $250,000 as a community not only to help with matching funds but also to start the construction as early as possible and to complete the trail as soon as possible.

There will be a meeting with Dallas County Foundation Chairperson Scott Cirksena, former Perry City Administrator Butch Niebuhr and Dallas County Conservation Director Mike Wallace at the Hotel Pattee Tuesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. to share more information and answer additional questions about building the connector trail.

Please plan to attend the meeting and bring along any others who have an interest in this issue.

Let’s put the pride back in Perry!

Kirk VanKirk
Perry

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