The Platteville Community Arboretum had planned on replacing a bridge on the Rountree Branch Trail this year, using $50,000 of city funds.
PCA now wants to delay that project one year and embark on a bigger project in 2015, called Moving Platteville Outdoors.
PCA’s $1.2 million proposal would pave and light the Rountree Branch Trail from Chestnut Street south and north of Business 151 to the trail intersection north of Menards.
PCA asked the Platteville Common Council Feb. 25 for more than the $50,000 to be earmarked for the bridge — a total of $200,000, including the 2013 bridge funds. Half of the project would be paid for by a state Department of Natural Resources grant, the application for which PCA is asking the city to sponsor.
City staff proposes using $35,000 of park impact fees as part of PCA’s requested $150,000 in new funding, with the rest coming from surplus funds, the city’s 2015 Capital Improvement Plan, or the 2015 city budget.
Whether the project gets the DNR grant is likely to depend on the city approving the additional funding.
“The attractiveness of the project will be significant with significant city input,” said PCA’s Angie Wright, who added that without that kind of contribution private-sector contributors won’t be as interested in contributing.
At-large Ald. Mike Denn said it will be “an awful tough thing to be looking for funding from the city” given city street reconstruction needs.
“I think it would be really good for Platteville,” said at-large Ald. Patrice Steiner. “Where, like Mike says, the money is going to come from other than park impact fees, I don’t know either.”
The city’s original $50,000 contribution was a challenge match that required PCA to raise $50,000 of its own for the trail project. The original plan was to move a wooden bridge to link the original trail to a newer portion of the trail, replacing a bridge over which Rountree Branch flows during high-water periods, and improve stormwater drainage from parking lots east of the trail.
The trail opened in 1988. It was estimated in 2009 to have 75,000 visitors per year.