County clears path for Martin Slough Trail
A few dozen square meters are all that stand between the Martin Slough Trail between Gardnerville and Minden and completion.
The 2.5-mile multi-use trail is designed to run from the Chichester Ponds to Jake’s Wetlands in Minden.
Douglas County commissioners approved coming up with an additional $10,000 in order to obtain $200,000 from the state’s Question 1 funding for recreation.
The clock is ticking on state funding for the project which has been held up because the county doesn’t own all the right of way.
“The previous owners were enthusiastic, but went into foreclosure,” County Engineer Erik Nilssen said. “The new owners were less enthusiastic. We are $200,000 short of what we need for the project. The state has secured the money, but we have to come up with $10,000.”
Maintenance for the trail will be split between the county, Gardnerville and Minden.
Nilssen said significant upkeep on the trail will have to be done every 20 years, and that could be around $100,000.
He said funding could be secured by next month, which would be a year after the county completed work on the trailhead along Buckeye Road.
It has been five years since the state first approved a $615,000 grant to build the trail. The pricetag for the trail increased in the interim.
It has been two decades since construction of the Chichester Ponds straddling Gilman Avenue. Jake’s Wetlands were completed in 2007.
County commissioners may have opened the door for an another eventual water feature along the trail by transferring land containing the large pond on the former Seeman property to the Town of Minden.
Town Board Chairman Matt Bernard said Dean Seeman used to stock the pond with large mouth bass, but it would require cold water and a means of oxegenating the pond to make it a viable fishery.
“There are some things we can do as a town that the county hasn’t been able to do,” he said. “The most the county has been able to do with that property over the couple of years is mow it a couple of times a year.”
Resident and Bently representative Carlo Luri said he felt the pond would be a considerable addition to the area.
“This is a great amenity for the residents and the people who will visit our town,” he said.