People surprised with city trail plan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People surprised with city trail plan

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - It's a Cedar Rapids project that's been in the works for more than a decade, but neighbors living near the site of a proposed recreation trail may have stopped its progress, because they say the city never told them about it.

Sandy Mostaert has lived at 2012 F Avenue Northeast for ten years, but it wasn't until last Thursday that she got a letter from the city, telling her construction on part of a new walking trail would begin the following Tuesday, just a stone's throw from her backyard.

"I've never heard anything about a trail going behind our house," Mostaert said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

That prompted her to survey the 67 other homeowners whose properties touch the 120-foot wide swath behind her home, where the trail would go. She asked if they approved of the plan.

"Mostly they said no, because they know nothing about it," Mostaert explained. "They don't know how wide it's going to be, we don't know if it's going to go in our yard... what's it going to do to our property insurance, what's it going to do to our property value?"

City project engineer Michael Dufoe met with Mostaert and several neighbors the same afternoon. He declined to speak on camera, but did tell us and concerned homeowners that the city will arrange a public meeting to answer their questions, maybe as early as Friday. 

Many have questions pertaining to drainage issues, traffic speed in the area, and safety. Mostaert says she's perfectly fine with this area being used by people in the neighborhood as a place to take a stroll or walk the dog. But she's worried about what would happen if it turned into public use path that would stretch several miles all the way from Cedar Rapids to Marion.

"The trail they're connecting it to was the trail a woman was murdered on, that never was resolved," Mostaert said.

Dufoe said the city will try to stall construction if possible, until officials can give residents the details they need. He said that section of the trail is paid for with grant money, about $268,000. He also told us that the city is working on an official response to residents' concerns.

Online Reporter: Brady Smith

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