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Riley spur trail project is a go after Vigo County Council approves funding

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - After months of back and forth between the Vigo County Commissioners, Vigo County Council, and community members -- the Riley Spur Trail is officially a go.

On Tuesday, the Vigo County Council had one item on the agenda at a special meeting.

The council unanimously approved $390,000 to fund the Riley Spur Trail Project.

That is after council member Brenda Wilson voted to table the funding at the last meeting.

After doing more research, and securing an environmental study with the Indiana Railroad she was ready to move forward.

"They also agreed to hold harmless for a certain extent of time which was the main concern we had," Wilson said.

A "Hold Harmless Clause" is used to protect a party in a contract from liability for damage or losses.

The commissioners needed $250,000 for the easement, and $140,000 to remove the railroad ties.

News 10 spoke with Vigo County Engineer Larry Robbins to find out what's next.

"The process that we're going to move forward is we're going to partner with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and propose this as a senior design project for them," Robbins said.

He tells News 10 that the students will be responsible for designing the project from start to finish, as well as attending public meetings.

"I will review that, and then hopefully we will be ready to go to bid next spring."

To some it seems like an anti-climatic ending to a 3-month stretch of heated discussion, but the council feels confident in its decision.

"We saw that there is the potential for a very strong project here, and there are a lot of people behind it. Although, there are some against it, there are a lot of people that want to see this happen," Vigo County Council President Aaron Loudermilk said.

The goal is to start construction next summer, and have the trail open by the Fall of 2023.

Right now, the commissioners are applying for grants to fund the remainder of the project.

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