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News analysis: Work likely to resume on proposed recreational complex

Posted: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 4:09 PM

By reporter Paul Scott:

What does the Trout Run Trail bridge over Highway 9 have to do with the proposal to build softball diamonds and soccer fields on land owned by Luther College at Highway 52 and Pole Line Road? Quite a bit, actually.

That's because City of Decorah officials weren't 100 percent sure they would receive a $750,000 federal grant to help build the bridge. Sure, they were being told by State Transportation Department officials that their application "looked pretty good," but they still had their fingers crossed until word came down this month that the grant had been approved.

Here's where the softball diamonds and soccer fields come into play. If the $750,000 grant hadn't come through for the bike trail, that money would have had to have been raised anyway from some source. It might have been from private donations, it might have been the City of Decorah itself left holding the bag.

In any case, the federal government came through, so that immediately makes the prospects of raising money for a recreational complex look brighter.

The proposed complex has been on hold for several months, but that's about to change now. The REPSI group that has been doing the work on the project is expected to meet soon and to begin another push for raising the money that would be needed to build the recreational complex.