Boone County wants Columbia to take over all of MKT Trail

Monday, October 28, 2013 | 9:53 p.m. CDT; updated 7:26 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Management of the MKT Trail is split between Columbia and Boone County. The county proposed giving up management of part of the trail at a joint meeting of city and county officials on Monday. The city might take over management of the 4.2 miles of the trail that the county manages and continue to maintain the 4.7 miles it already manages.

COLUMBIA — Boone County officials proposed Monday that the city of Columbia take over the county's portion of the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail.

City and county officials discussed the trail's future at a joint meeting Monday afternoon at Daniel Boone City Building.

Boone County senior planner Bill Florea said the county has struggled to maintain the trail because it doesn't have a parks and recreation department. This has led to problems repairing flood damage and contracting maintenance crews.

"It's not a routine task for the county maintenance staff," Florea said. "We only have that little bit of trail. We've got people who do roads, and those who do buildings, but no one who's trail-specific."

Mike Griggs, director of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, supported the idea of a city takeover of the trail.

"We'll put it on the agenda to figure it out," Griggs said.

Of the trail's 8.9 miles, 4.2 miles are owned by the county, according to a document from the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.

The MKT Trail is one of the three joint ventures between the city and county in Columbia. Other collaborations include the joint ownership of the 81-acre Thomas E. Atkins Jr. Memorial Park and the co-management of the 30-acre Jay Dix Station Park.

The next step for the MKT Trail is to improve its markers and portions of its bridges, Griggs said.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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