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Trail is walk, jog in the park

Residents favor facility, unsure of cost
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Recreation Park attendees will soon be able to walk and jog to their heart’s content, but some residents have mixed emotions about cost. On Sept. 7 the Auburn Recreation District hopes to begin construction on a ¾-mile paved trail running the perimeter of the park. The project was approved about a year ago, according to Kahl Muscott, district administrator. The project cost $292,409, but the district has been awarded a $107,000 federal grant from the Land Water Conservation Fund. Placer County is funding $105,000 of the project through its park development impact fees, Muscott said. So the project, which is being contracted through JD Pasquetti in Lincoln, will cost the district $80,409, according to Muscott. Muscott said the district has been considering a new trail because of the popularity of its trails in other parks. “We have similar pathways out at Regional Park and Meadow Vista Park and they are heavily used,” Muscott said. “It gives the people a safe place to walk in a park setting.” The project also includes a new ADA-compliant ramp that allows access from the park’s gazebo down the right-hand side of Lloyd Beggs Field to the snack bar area, according to Muscott. Muscott said the trail would offer residents a way to relax and escape without going far from their homes. “If you go out and walk the path there will be lots of parts that will be nice and shady, in the trees, kind of getting away while still being around,” he said. “I just think this is going to be a wonderful project for the community. We are excited to be able to offer it for the people.” Colfax resident Moe Mohamed, who was visiting the park Monday, said he likes the idea of a trail in the park. “I think it’s a great idea,” Mohamed said. “People need a place to walk. It would be great in summertime when you bring the kids to swim to relax and walk the kids after.” While the trail is a positive thing, Mohamed said he wasn’t sure if it was the right way to spend so much money. “(In) today’s economy it might be used for something better, a little bit more education maybe,” he said. “There are other programs that money could go toward that would be more educational than just walking in a circle.” Auburn resident Shelley Markstein said she doesn’t think the cost of the trail is too much. “I have actually thought how nice that would be if they had a walking trail all around the park,” Markstein said. “It seems like a lot (of money), but I think it will be worth the cost. I think it will improve the park tremendously.” Markstein said she has already enjoyed using the trail at Meadow Vista Park, so she would definitely use the new trail. “We are just here hours and hours, and I think we would definitely go out and walk the park if there was (a trail),” she said. Jim Ferris, an Auburn Recreation District board member, said the trail is perfect for a certain demographic. “As the newest board member … I expressed concern at the time for facilities that would be applicable to our local aging population,” Ferris said. “I’m pleased to see this trail. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the year.” Ferris said the district’s program fees would not go up, because that money can’t be used to fund projects. Muscott said its general fund and city mitigation fees pay for the district’s part of the project. Rocklin resident Jamie Emerick said she would like a paved path in the park, but she isn’t sure about the price tag. “It’s hard on muddy, rainy days (to walk on unpaved paths),” Emerick said. “I would like it to be paved for my own personal use as well as others. (I think it’s fine) if they feel like they have the funds. I think it’s a little expensive.” Ferris said because Recreation Park already has so much to offer, the trail would be a great addition. “It’s arguably one of our more popular parks,” Ferris said. “So many people use this park … it’s the only public swimming in the area.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com