Rock Island Trail Still Hangs In The Balance; Community Meetings Set To Rally Supporters Oct 29, Oct 30, Nov 1| lakeexpo.com

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Small towns across Missouri standing beside the long-disused Rock Island Railroad right of way are hoping a brighter future is coming down the corridor. Public meetings to be held later this month in Owensville, Versailles and Meta could have a major bearing on that future.

The project that would convert the rail to a hiking/biking trail through a dozen small communities that were once thriving railroad towns hinges on whether Missouri State Parks will accept the gift of the old Rock Island Line from Ameren Electric. A decision to do so would clear the way for a recreational trail that advocates predict will bring thousands of tourists through towns seeking to rebuild the revenue and jobs that left when the trains stopped running three decades ago.

Public meetings in three Rock Island communities will give those who support plans to develop 144 miles of recreational corridor across the state to tell State Park officials to accept the right of way and get the ball rolling.

Missouri Rock Island Trail Inc. Executive Director Greg Harris says everyone who supports the trail and wants Missouri State Parks to accept the corridor should turn out and make their voices heard. “This is a critical juncture for the old Rock Island towns. State Parks must accept the corridor for them to reap the benefits of new jobs and revenue brought to town by outdoor enthusiasts, bicyclists and tourists,” Harris said.

Meeting Information:

-Owensville, Monday, October 29, 5-7.30 p.m. Scenic Regional Library, 503 S. Olive St.

-Versailles, Tuesday, October 30, 5-7.30 p.m. Morgan County Library, 600 N. Hunter St.

-Meta, Thursday, November 1, 5-7.30 p.m. Citizens Civic League Hall, 301 Olive St.

MoBikeFed comment: The Missouri Parks Association issued an alert this week letting everyone know that attendance at these meetings (if at all possible--they are in distant locations for many Missourians) and submitting substantive written comments at the meetings or online is absolutely vital.

The decision to accept or reject the donation of the Rock Island Corridor will be made within the next few months, and the written public comments received at these meetings may very well make the difference.

More details and suggestions for your written comments here:

http://mobikefed.org/2018/10/mo-parks-association-alert-public-meetings-...

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