The Niles Township Board is expected to make an up-or-down vote on Monday, March 18, at 7 pm in the Niles Township Hall. The vote was expected two weeks earlier, but the board surprised many observers by tabling the issue until the 18th.
At issue, is the extension of 4.5 miles of trail from Niles to the state line. The project has been approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Niles Township Parks department, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Whiteman & Associates, the Southwestern Michigan Planning Commission, and the Bike Michiana Coalition; furthermore, it meets the Americans with Disabilities standards. Also at issue is over $800,000 in funding that might be lost if the trail is delayed or not approved. Some board members are hesitant to support the trail for fear of safety at the US 12 crossing.
At the earlier meeting, the project was strongly endorsed by the attending public, and local advocates are encouraged to attend the upcoming meeting to voice their support. The meeting is located at 320 Bell Road, 2 blocks west of Shelton’s Farm Market at IN-933 / MI-51.