The city will not receive grant funding for a $534,000 renovation to the Lake Winona bike path, but the work may be completed this year in spite of that fact. The project would resurface the bike path, widen it by about two feet, and install new drinking fountains. Pairing the bike path with bonds for another project, such as airport renovations, may be the next step as the city looks for ways to fund the project.
City Manager Judy Bodway announced at the City Council meeting on Monday, January 7, that the city’s application for $390,000 from the state Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program for the Lake Park Bike Path Replacement Project was turned down.
“We will be taking that project back to the staff level and proposing something to council soon,” Bodway said. “We believe that it’s an important project that needs to be done this year. We will bring funding options to [the City] Council soon.”
“The good news is that it looks very likely that this is going to happen this year in spite of not getting the grant,” Mayor Mark Peterson said.
The city has already budgeted $109,000 for the project, the Winona Rotary Club has raised $25,500, and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Winona has raised $50,000 through the sale of its “last-run” glass bottles. Coca-Cola hopes to exceed $100,000 in donations for the bike path once all the bottles are sold. “Almost half the money should be in hand,” Peterson said.
Still, that leaves nearly $300,000 needed by the city to fund the entire project.
Bodway said that bonds are already listed as a secondary funding source for the bike path renovations. It is likely that the bike path renovations will be tacked on to bonds for renovations to the airport, Peterson said. “I think that by adding it to the airport bond, the project will be done in a timely way,” he said.
“The bike path is a huge resource that we have in this community that’s very popular,” Peterson said. “We want to make sure that it gets maintained, and improving it is a plus for everybody in Winona.”