February 6, 2020

The East Central College Foundation will continue its steps for a grant to repair and improve the recreational walking trail at the Union campus.

The ECC Board of Trustees Monday approved a resolution allowing President Dr. Jon Bauer to sign documentation needed to seek the Missouri Recreation Trails Program (RTP) grant.

According to Bridgette Kelch, East Central College Foundation executive director, if ECC receives the grant, plans call for an overlay of the existing trail. The nearly one-mile long trail would be widened to its original width of 6 feet.

Over time, she explained, the width had diminished due to encroaching weeds and crumbling asphalt.

Bauer added that the trail sees a lot of community use but improvements are needed. He explained that if the Foundation does not receive a grant this year, it could seek funding during the next grant cycle.

The grant also would fund upgrades to the restroom facility near the trail.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring the trail back to a more usable condition,” Kelch said. “Not only is the trail used by students, faculty and staff, but by community members as well.”

She said a recent survey conducted by the Foundation indicated that up to half of those who use the trail are local residents.

The RTP utilizes federal funds that are administered through the Missouri Department of Natural Recourses, Division of State Parks. Projects funded by the grant are required to be available for public use.

The grant application is due Feb. 14 and grants will be awarded in November, Kelch said. If it is approved, work would likely begin in the spring of 2021.

The maximum amount awarded through the grant is $250,000, which would require a 20 percent local match. A portion of the funding would come from the college.

Kelch said the total project is estimated to cost $312,500.

She added that the ECC Civic and Community Engagement Group, comprised of students, faculty and staff, will contribute in-kind donations.





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