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Chesterfield Council approves Riparian Trail land agreement

By: Jim Erickson

Riparian Trail as it winds through Central Park in Chesterfield.

At a special April 2 meeting called for that purpose, the Chesterfield City Council approved an agreement with Chesterfield Village, Inc. [CVI], to transfer land to the city for the extension of the Riparian Trail.

While legal details related to the agreement remain, the OK was a major step in making the trail extension a reality and an action needed to move ahead on two related fronts the council earlier had approved subject to the accord with CVI.

After discussion of annual maintenance costs and other possible expenditures the city will incur with the property transfer and trail extension, the council voted 8-0 to approve the measure.

At an earlier meeting, the council had approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission under which the city will receive up to $998,175 in Transportation Alternative Program [TAP] grant funding for the trail project. Making that agreement final hinged on completing the CVI land contribution document.

A contract with George Butler Associates for engineering services for the trail extension also had received earlier council approval, contingent on the CVI agreement being completed. The design and construction supervision services are not to exceed $284,200.

The current Riparian Trail runs through the woods close to Chesterfield Creek near Central Park. The extension will carry the trail another nine-tenths of a mile from August Hill Drive to Old Chesterfield Road where it will link with the existing Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail.

That link means the remainder of the $1.54 million total cost not covered by the TAP grant [$541,825] will be paid by the Chesterfield Valley Transportation Development District.

An agreement with CVI some eight years ago enabled the city to build the initial Riparian Trail segment, as well as the Lydia Hill-August Hill connection, on land the corporation donated. In return, CVI received “credits” for open space, tree canopy and other requirements related to future developments on Chesterfield Village property. A similar arrangement is part of the new agreement, which also includes conveying to the city “The Awakening” sculpture and the Chesterfield Ridge Center Drive bridge.

A title search on the land involved and an evaluation of the bridge’s condition still remain but neither is expected to raise issues that will kill the deal.

If problems do arise, there’s a time window for considering them and determining if an agreement still can be reached.

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