BURLEY - The Burley City Council has unanimously approved allowing the Oregon Trail Recreation District to construct a greenbelt walking path from the golf course marina to Scholer Park along the Snake River.

The project will cost the city $62,440 in labor.

Burley Maintenance Supervisor Brent Winn said the city had applied for several grants to begin work on the planned development of the riverfront area but has not been awarded any of them.

The recreation district plans on paying $180,000 for the project, which will include an 8-foot wide trail about 5,000 feet long from the Burley Municipal Golf Course Marina to Scholer Park that abuts the Burley-Heyburn Bridge.

The project will include a 55-foot bridge that spans a canal along with an eight-foot fence that will protect the walkers from the golfers, Winn said.

Winn said the recreation district wants the city to remove the sod 4-inches deep and bring the ground to grade.

Burley Councilman Jay Lenkersdorfer reminded the council they had a contractual agreement to do some work on Bedke Boulevard on the city's riverfront there and asked if the district would consider moving the project to that location.

Oregon Trail Recreation District Board Member Scott Horsley said they had not considered starting from the west because it would basically be a trail leading nowhere. The current site will allow walkers to cross the Burley-Heyburn Bridge and tie into the Heyburn riverfront walking path.

"It basically wouldn't be very useful for citizens," Horsley said.

The two combined trails would give Mini-Cassia residents three miles of paved trail.

Burley Mayor Jon Anderson asked if the recreation district would eventually be able to help with the trail on the west side of the city.

"Absolutely," Horsley said.

Horsley said the district plans to get the paving completed along with the bridge this fall and put the fence in next year.

The recreation district is currently putting in new restrooms at Story Book Park and last year completed a renovation on the swimming pool building.

Laurie Welch may be reached at lwelch@magicvalley.com or 208-677-8767.

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