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Peoria County Will Chip In More Funding For Hanna City Trail After Fulton Backs Out

Michael Bruner / Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

The Peoria County Board renewed its support for the Hanna City Trail project Thursday night with unanimous approval of an amended intergovernmental agreement with Hanna City and the City of Farmington.

The agreement was necessary following a decision last month by the Fulton County Board to forgo participation due to financial constraints. That original agreement would have financially committed Fulton County and the other partners to a portion of the acquisition costs of the proposed trail, a former railway corridor currently owned by Union Pacific. That corridor stretches nearly 25-miles between Bellevue and Middlegrove.

The new agreement splits Fulton County’s contribution evenly between the three remaining governments with Peoria County now committing up to $195,000 toward the purchase.

The total price of the land acquisition for the trail is estimated at $2,081,000, 80% of which is reimbursable through a federal grant. The participating local governments are responsible for covering 20% of the cost of the land within their jurisdictions.

In recent years, board member Sharon Williams has advocated for reviving the trail’s creation--a decades-long project led by Hanna City’s Mayor Fred Winteroth.

“I’ve been on this county board for eight years and I’ve never seen so much excitement and positivity. Three hundred-plus letters in support of this, over 2,000 people signed the petition...so I’m really excited about this project," she said.

Board member James Dillon said the project remained important to the area despite the complicated process over the years.

“Kudos to everybody that when one partner fell off, instead of saying, ‘Oh no, this whole project fell apart,’ the three main entities came together and said that this is too important of a project...we’re going to make this happen," said Dillon.

The project now awaits additional approval from Farmington’s city council to move forward.

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