Board of Directors to be created for Richmond bike path 

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A proposed bike path extending from Cookout to U.S. 25 is in the work for the city of Richmond and partners. 

Plans are moving forward to begin work on the city's Rails to Trails multi-use pathway in Richmond.

In October, the city heard from several enthusiasts who proposed a bike path in the city of Richmond which would extend from Cookout on the Eastern Bypass all the way to US 25 by Kroger.

More specifically, the proposed plan would run from Cookout, through the "back alleys" where there are student apartments and go around the south side of campus passing the planetarium, the DOJTC, soccer fields, and hospital. At this point, pedestrians would come from behind the hospital back to Boggs Lane and go across the railroad track and follow the route along the fence line of the upper ridge where Lowe's and Wal Mart are located. The two "spines" of that course, would run along Riney B. Railroad and go from one side of the county to the other.

The trail plan would provide safe routes through residential areas, shopping and restaurants, recreation and entertainment, and the EKU campus.

At Tuesday afternoon's Parks and Recreation Board meeting, City Manager Rob Minerich gave an update on the progress of discussion since that first informational forum.

"What the plan is, is to set up a board of directors and they are going to call (the trail) the Richmond Riney B. Rails to Trails," Minerich said. "We met with the Bluegrass Community Foundation and are setting up a non-endowment fund underneath them."

Minerich added, there was a reason for using a Board of Directors to head the project's completion.

"We are forming this board of directors so they can raise the money and determine how to spend the money and they will be responsible for the engineering and legal services to get the right of ways and the engineering to do the path," he said.

While it is a great project, he said, and the city wants to help is any way they can -- it is not a project the city of Richmond government can take on internally.

"We feel like if we set up this board of directors with the city involved on that board along with all the enthusiasts, it will be up to them to determine how to spend the money with step one hiring an engineer to design it and issue the right of ways by hiring an attorney to do that for us," he explained.

According to Minerich, this decision to include the board of directors is a good partnership, and would not make the city the solely responsible. Board members are expected to include bike enthusiasts, business owners, representatives of the city, and members of the parks board to name a few.

"It is going to be harder to do then they think it is, and it doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and I want them involved in the process so they see there are hurdles you run into that you have to get around," the city manager said. "We want to partner in it, but we don't want to take it on ourselves."

As of now, Minerich said there is not a cost estimate associated with the plans.

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