Dear Mark Makovec
I am sorry that we did not connect 2 or so years ago. I just don’t remember that call. It is too bad you did not follow up with me so that we could discuss the issue. The County Road 32 project was a reclaim and over lay project. Which is the minimum we do to a road after it is evaluated by our by our engineers.
The project mils up the road and a new service is put on. On County Road 32 for safety reasons the road lanes were narrowed to 11 ½ feet so that the shoulders could be widened. The widening of the shoulders gives more area for pedestrians and bicyclist. On this type of project that’s all we can do.
I have checked and there was no request to add a bike path along County Road 32 by the City of Elk River. If there had been a request we would have worked to accommodate that, but at the Elk River City’s cost. The counties policies are that we do the road way and shoulders along with purchasing proper right of way. The cities and townships throughout the entire county have to pay for curb and gutter sidewalks if requested and bike paths. I know this is an important issue and our staff continues to work with the City of Elk River. The city of Elk River has a trail plan; I was there when it was developed. The discussion when I left the City Council is how to pay for it.
There was talk of a referendum to go the Elk River citizens to pay for the trail system because it is very expensive. It has not been done yet but hope it does go before the voters.
As you know Counties and cities have had pretty much all aid cut to them by the state which means there is only so much money to go around. Sherburne County has many 100’s of miles of roadway that need to be reclaimed, reconditioned or reconstructed. We have delayed projects so that we can afford to do the roads that need it most and so on.
The County’s policy is to build and maintain the county roads anything else is up to the cities or townships on what they deem important — Sherburne County Commissioner Larry Farber