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Welch Village gets permit for bike trails

Welch Ski Village adds mountain biking

Goodhue County commissioners voted unanimously to approve the addition of mountain biking at Welch Ski Village. The facility's conditional-use permit was updated Tuesday, June 13, to accommodate the new trails and related facilities. Trained staff will be provided, similar to those who work during the winter season.

Scott Linneburger of Colorado-based Kay-Linn Enterprises was hired to develop the full design and conceptual master plan for the Mountain Bike Park. The park will feature gravity-fed downhill flow trails and a four-person chairlift.

In the future, the facility plans to add additional downhill trails as well as cross-country trails accessing approximately 450 acres of land. This could include the return of some type of mountain cabins. The trail will have easy to expert levels and cater to all mountain bike enthusiasts.

Bike rentals will be available as well as some limited retail and bike repair services. Exact hours and dates are yet to be determined but are scheduled sometime in mid-July this year.

Wheelage tax

Because of a large gap in the county's State Aid Highway Construction program of approximately $10 million a year, the county has looked toward options.

After a committee of the whole meeting on May 16, 2017, commissioners decided the best transportation funding option would be to increase the wheelage tax in Goodhue County.

With the increase, additional projects could see more improvement, Public Works Director Greg Isakson told commissioners Tuesday.

Currently, vehicle owners pay a $10 per vehicle wheelage tax, which raises about $505,000 annually. If the tax were raised to $20, the county would collect about $1,010,000.

The board might vote on June 30.

Kenyon park has a name

Following master plan discussions and public meetings about both the Kenyon and Byllesby parks, a name has finally been selected for the Kenyon site: Goodhue County Nielsen Memorial Park Preserve.

County Board voted on Tuesday to approve development concepts for both the parks to help continue the master planning process. Both parks will have facilities and amenities to support passive and active natural resource-based use to allow users to observe and preserve native species. The Goodhue County Nielsen Memorial Park Reserve will have a 25-car parking area and potential to expand to 40 spaces, including a paved 8-foot wide trail loop with accessible river access and an Outdoor Lab classroom seating and firepit for group education.

The park will be closed during deer hunting season.

— compiled by Kit Murray, RiverTown Multimedia

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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