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Sunday September 23, 2018

final approval for mc trail

Friday, February 23, 2018 16:16 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Final approval has been given to constructing the first leg of a trail in Michigan City that will connect with the Calumet Trail in Porter County.

$256,000 in riverboat funds were approved Tuesday by the city council to go with $353,000 in local funds previously dedicated for the trail that could start being constructed this summer.

The remainder of the $2,2 million cost is being paid for with federal dollars.

City councilman Johnny Stimley believes a trail will help attract more tourists including people who after visiting the National Lakeshore might want to bicycle their way into the downtown area.

''I believe Michigan City and LaPorte is lacking in trail systems and this is one of the steps we can take forward in making ourselves a more community friendly environment with a trail system,'' Stimley said.

The first leg of the trail would run primary beside U.S 12 on existing right of way past Mt. Baldy and stop outside City Hall, officials said.

The final two phases of the trail slated for construction in 2020 and 2021 would veer down 8th St. and Michigan Boulevard and over Peanut Bridge before heading back to U.S 12 and ending at the Michigan state line.

Officials said the second phase of the trail is estimated to cost $1.3 million.

There is no cost estimate yet on the final leg of the trail because of that portion still being early in the design and engineering stages, officials said.

''Hopefully, it'll draw folks in to spend their money in the area,'' said council president Don Przybylinski.

The council also voted to spend over $26,000 for a remote control robot for the police department.

The Avatar brand device about the size of a remote control car, but much heavier, will be used to try and resolve a hostage or some other dangerous situation before having to send in officers.

The robot will be capable of transmitting live video from a camera that rotates at 360 degrees to help develop a plan of attack for capture, police said.

Officers will also be able to speak through the robot to try and get armed individuals, for example, to give themselves up.

''This will be a big benefit to have in our tool chest as we fight the war on crime,'' said Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek.
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