MADISON— State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and State Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) sent a letter to members of the Wisconsin State Building Commission today asking them to approve a budget amendment so repairs on the Elroy-Sparta Trail can move forward.
“I recently learned that the [DNR] rejected all of the bids it received for repairing the Elroy-Sparta State Trail, the 400 State Trail and the Hillsboro State Trail,” Kurtz said. “The flooding in August 2018 heavily damaged these trails and repairs have still not been completed. These trails are a major economic driver in the region and two full summers of recreation and tourism have been lost completely.”
“Nearly 10 miles of the popular Elroy-Sparta Trail remain closed and every winter that passes further deteriorates the trails and likely increases the costs to repair them,” Marklein said. “We consistently hear from constituents about the urgent need for repairs and we ask the Building Commission to approve the project budget amendment so repairs can move forward.”
At the May 20, 2020 meeting of the State Building Commission, $1,851,100 in General Fund Supported Bonding was unanimously approved for repairs to the heavily damaged Elroy-Sparta Trail, the 400 State Trail and the Hillsboro State Trail. However, the repairs cannot move forward because the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rejected all six bids it received because they came in over budget.
The DNR plans to submit a budget amendment for the next meeting of the State Building Commission so repairs can move forward. The next meeting is not currently scheduled, but Marklein and Kurtz are optimistic that the Building Commission will meet soon to approve the budget amendment.