MOUNT VERNON — The rehabilitation of two bridges near downtown Mount Vernon remain a bone of contention between Mike Hillier, at-large city councilman, and Mayor Richard Mavis.
During a committee meeting Monday night to discuss a resolution that would move forward a project that will convert the railroad trestle just east of the viaduct and a small bridge over Dry Creek to pedestrian walkways and join them with the Kokosing Gap Trail with a new bike path, Hillier questioned whether or not it was a good use of city money.
Hillier said future maintenance of the bridges and the bike path will be an “additional burden” on the city.
An Ohio Department of Transportation grant will provide $670,000. The city’s share, including engineering fees, will cost about $250,000. The Knox County Park District has committed $35,000 toward the project, which will defray the city’s contribution.
“We are in the cat-bird seat because we are right in the middle (of the river to lake trail project),” Mavis told Hillier. “The trestle provides a gateway to downtown. Long-term for the city of Mount Vernon, this is a good idea.”
“I’m not sure the time is right,” Hillier said.
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