Council supporting trail grant

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

A one-mile ribbon of asphalt - a significant first step in Enumclaw's plan to develop a comprehensive trail system - could become reality by this time next year.

Members of the Enumclaw City Council last week unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance allowing the city to accept a state grant of $127,500. The council is expected to give final approval at Tuesday night's meeting.

The grant, from the state's Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC), is essential to getting the project done. It represents about 45 percent of the $280,500 price tag.

The trail, as proposed, will be 10 feet wide and parallel state Route 410 on Enumclaw's south side, stretching from a point near the Schuck's Auto Supply store nearly to the White River. It would be open for walkers, joggers, skateboarders - any form of non-motorized transportation, according to John Keates, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Keates said after the council gives final approval, the city will sign papers with the state (formally accepting the grant money) then call for bids over the winter. Construction, he said, will likely take place late next summer or in the early fall.

Keates said the Enumclaw proposal ranked No. 3 when the IAC announced its latest round of funding.

The idea of seeking the grant got off to a rocky start last year when the City Council, by a 4-3 margin, shot down a proposal by Mayor John Wise to seek state money. It wasn't that they opposed the trail plan, council members said at the time; rather, they didn't like the way the idea was pitched from city administration. Two weeks later, the council unanimously approved plans to fund the mile-long trail.

To match the state's contribution, the city has scrapped plans to improve three parks. To save its share of the money, the city has indefinitely delayed demolition of the restroom and subsequent construction of a pavilion at McFarland Park; cancelled plans to replace the old Enumclaw High School archway at Dwight Garrett Park (the site of the former high school); and called off plans to relocate a ball field at Martin Johnson Park.

Making things a bit easier for the city was the recent discovery of $40,000 in an account earmarked for park use.

Municipalities and citizen groups throughout the region are developing small sections of trail that can be used independently, but are working toward a goal of linking all the small sections into a continuous route that would cover a large chunk of the south Puget Sound area.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at

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