The Heritage Trail project took a few steps closer to getting underway.
After nearly four months, 12 members of the Heritage Trails Committee met Tuesday at the Simmons Center to discuss various aspects of the project. The committee talked about topics ranging from liability coverage to raising funds to maintaining the trails throughout Duncan.
“Since the trails go across several partners’ properties — some of them have liability coverage and some don’t — we want to address these issues,” Scott Stone, committee chairman, said.
The City of Duncan, the Simmons Center, the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Duncan Regional Hospital, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, Sanford Children’s Clinic and a few other entities were represented during the meeting.
The committee discussed the partner entities that have liability coverage, including the City of Duncan and Duncan Public Schools, and those that might be able to work with the city to get some, including Duncan Regional Hospital and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
Stone suggested the private entities (DRH and the Heritage Center) entering into a lease agreement with the City of Duncan to receive liability coverage through the city. Some of the entities, such as the Simmons Center, are housed on city property.
Another of the main topics discussed was the Memorandum of Understanding. This memorandum has been submitted to the City of Duncan, and the Sanford Children’s Clinic sent back a revised version of the memorandum as it pertains to the clinic.
“I haven’t fully looked into the Sanford revisions,” Stone said. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem with them. I don’t want to delay this process any further.”
When it came to maintenance, the committee said funds would be needed follow through. This was just one of several areas funds will be needed with the project, including the construction of the trails themselves.
“We want to be proactive,” Stone said. “Once the trails are built, they will need to be maintained. We will have some money for the upkeep of those trails.”
The committee touched on its two funding sources, which would be private fundraisers and grants, which may be achievable through the various partner entities. The committee doesn’t have a definite price on how much the project will costs, but the engineering and surveying fee will be between $60 to 70,000.
The engineering fee would be the first item to be paid for the project. The committee wants to have the funds available before needing to pay the engineering fees, Stone said.
“We don’t want to get into a situation where we’re scrambling to get the funds,” Stone said.
Two subcommittees, one for fundraising and one for grants, were formed at a previous meeting. For Tuesday’s meeting, the committee took the subcommittees one step further by selecting a meeting time, date and location for the subcommittee members to get together.
Stone said it’s important for the subcommittees to have people who aren’t necessarily on the primary committee.
“We want the committees to be proactive and find people in the community to join the subcommittees,” Stone said.