A DFL bill heard in the Senate Environment Finance Committee this week would provide substantial funding to the City of Hastings for improvements to their regional trail system. If passed the city would receive $2.4 million to improve the 30 miles of trails they host, including a 10-mile scenic loop that follows the Vermilion and Mississippi Rivers.
Hastings has an extensive paved trail system comprising 30 miles in and around the city, with original construction dating to the early 1990s. After extensive public engagement and an engineering study, the city hopes to use the funding to make significant upgrades to reclaim more natural space, reconstruct trail infrastructure, and make trails ADA accessible. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the already beloved trails saw record numbers of residents and visitors alike who were seeking additional opportunities for outdoor recreation, so these improvements will provide needed support to the trail system as the city continues to market the area as a regional attraction for all to enjoy.
The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a larger omnibus bill that will be developed later this session. (SF 3525)