Whiteland residents are one step closer to having their first public trail.
A group of Clark-Pleasant school officials and residents have been working together for about a year to try to bring a trail to the community that would offer a local, safe place to exercise in the evening and that school groups, such as the cross-country team, could use to practice.
Now, the school district has approved spending the money needed to build the 1.5-mile trail that would loop around Whiteland Community High School. The Clark-Pleasant school board recently approved spending up to $50,000 to help pay for the trail.
The town of Whiteland also will contribute about $23,000 to make up the additional funding for the trail. That money already was approved as part of the annual budget, town manager Norm Gabehart said.
Next, the group of volunteers is working to pick one of two proposals and might need to get additional approvals for the trail from at least one county board.
The project is estimated to cost between $62,000 to $68,000. The main difference in the proposals is the location of a drainage ditch that would have to be crossed to hook the trail up to sidewalks in the town.
The group of volunteers also needs to get approval from the Johnson County Drainage Board if they choose to use the proposal that deals with the drainage ditch, said Carmen Parker, a community volunteer and administrative assistant to the town manager.
“We are still going back to the drawing board as far as paperwork and figuring out the route and moving forward with that,” she said.
Construction could coincide with paving projects and sidewalk projects the town is planning, Parker said.
The goal of the trail is to give community members a place to safely walk and exercise. Having a trail also would give students a safer path to walk to school, Spray said.
“It gains a lot of pedestrian access for our students walking to and from school,” he said.