Trail projects to start in 2016 may receive more money

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council passed a proposal to transfer $3.5 million from Federal Grant Funds to the Non-Motorized Transportation Grant Project.

The money would go toward five trail projects set to start in 2016 including the MKT to Parkade trail, Hominy Phase II, Country Phase II, Clark Lane West and the Shepard to Rollins Trail Connection.

Steve Sapp, the community relations director for the City of Columbia, said more money is needed because the trail projects didn't start right away, and the cost of labor and materials has gone up over time.

Avid trail users like Craig Kluever think trails are great and cut down on traffic.

"Well trails are certainly a very good thing. They promote exercise, walking to campus, walking to work, walking to downtown. In general, just using fewer cars and walking is a good thing for everyone," Kluever said.

Josh Boehm, another trail user, said if the city expanded the reach of the trails, there would be more space for people to run, and more people would get out and about. 

[This story has been updated with the latest information from the meeting.]