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At their meeting earlier this month, the Board of Commissioners approved the creation of a new special revenue fund to support the long-term maintenance of non-motorized trails in Washtenaw County. The resolution, brought by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission in partnership with the Washtenaw County Treasurer, passed unanimously.
"The beauty of the trails in Washtenaw County is amazing," said Ricky Jefferson, Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 6 and member of the Washtenaw Parks and Recreation Commission. "As I've explored the trails myself, I've enjoyed seeing families and children engage in outdoor activities and interact with nature. That's one of the reasons the Board is so happy to support maintaining these trails moving forward."
In recent years, the county has constructed 8 miles of non-motorized trails as part of the Border-to-Border Trail initiative and has plans to complete an additional 12 miles in the near future. The construction of these trails has been funded by the Roads and Non-Motorized millage approved by voters in 2016, as well as grants and private contributions.
"By constructing these trails and ensuring we have the resources to keep them in great condition, we are creating a trail system that everyone in Washtenaw County can be excited to have in their community," said Coy Vaughn, Director of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.
The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission will work with the County Treasurer to manage this special revenue fund, including overseeing investment strategy. Money raised from the fund will be used for various maintenance activities, including safety inspections, debris removal, minor pavement repair, and more.
This is the second special revenue fund of this type to be approved by the Board in recent years. In 2018, the Board approved a special revenue fund to cover costs for the ongoing stewardship of Washtenaw County nature preserves.
"It's exciting that Commissioners created a second special revenue fund for the perpetual maintenance of trails in addition to the natural areas maintenance fund. I'm investing both portfolios in fossil-fuel-free stocks and green bonds," said Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary.
"We want to acknowledge and thank the community volunteers from the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative," said Jason Maciejewski, Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 1. "Not only have they helped build a groundswell of support for the Border to Border Trail and all of the connecting trails, but their private donations make up half of the initial contribution to this special revenue fund."
Photo credit: Bryan Mitchell