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Mayor’s Request For Bike Lift Tabled After Project Completions Disputed

by Janice Penix

A proposal from Mayor David Rieder to purchase a lift for the city’s mountain bike trails at Lake Ludwig was tabled Monday after Clarksville City Council members expressed concerns over the number of incomplete projects.

Rieder told aldermen the lift was similar to a ski lift and would transport bikers from the bottom of the downhill trails back to the top. He said the feature would put the city “on the map in the biking world” as a destination for cyclists.

While the lifts typically cost more than $150,000, Rieder said the city had located one for around $30,000, but he was proposing a $60,000 allocation to allow for costs related to installation. The lift would also be a manned mechanism, and personnel would be needed to operate it, Rieder said, adding the feature would only be operable on the weekends and summer help would be utilized as operators.

City staff located the components for the lift in Canada and, according to Rieder, if the purchase can be made in a timely manner, Clarksville can be the first community in the state to offer a lift at its trails. Rieder said the state plans to put a lift at trails near Mena but if the Council acted soon, Clarksville would be ahead of that project.

Alderman Patrick Baker said the city has numerous projects under way which are still not complete, and he was unsure about the proposal.

“It’s a good thing, but what was in the back of my mind is, we have so many projects going on out there, and they’re not getting finished,” Baker said. “I know one thing is, we don’t have enough workers and this and that, but now we’re going to get this? I just think we have too many things going on and we’re not getting things finished before going on to the next one.”

Rieder disputed Baker’s assertion that there are incomplete projects, stating the city has been delayed only by supply chain issues or weather issues.

Alderman Rob Risinger shared similar concerns as Baker…

For the full story see the Jan. 10 issue of The Graphic, found online or in businesses around Johnson County.

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