I went to a PlyWood Trail informational meeting. This is what I took away:
Even though it has been explained there are no taxes being used, these points don’t seem to penetrate. A combination of private donors and federal and state grant monies will be used to build and maintain the bicycle/walking trail. It’s either use the grant monies or lose them to another community.
The Iowa Constitution at Article 1, Section 18 states: Eminent domain cannot be used for bicycle/walking trails. The owners of the land on the proposed trail are free to negotiate the sale of the land or simply refuse to sell the land. A bicycle/walking trail will increase the safety of those using the trail over using roads. It has been horribly demonstrated in the recent and past history that walkers and riders of bikes are injured and/or killed regularly using the road system.
Detractors seem to look at the glass as half empty. The comments of two Plymouth County supervisors served to muddy the conversation: “Only a few will use it.” Not many people use the gravel roads and million dollar bridges, either. “The towns along the trail need roads or a wastewater treatment facility.” These are tax money projects.
It’s time the Plymouth County supervisors get on board rather than subtly condemn and misrepresent the project. - Earl Draayer, Le Mars, Iowa