A West Monroe company was the low bidder on a project to build nature trails around the wetlands area in West Monroe's Highland Park.
Acting at it regular meeting Tuesday evening, the West Monroe Board of Aldermen awarded Vista Construction Group with a $729,000 contract for the nature, or walking, trails project.
West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell said the nature trail endeavor was the first construction project of the city's overall plan to rehabilitate the former Trenton Street Golf Course. She noted the city had previously done some work on firming up the wetlands area of Highland Park for it to serve as a retention basin. The construction of the nature trails around wetlands area, however, would mark the first construction work.
“This is very good news,” Mitchell said.
The city will use some $285,000 from the state's natural trail program to pay for the construction of the walking trails while Hospital Service District No. 1 in West Monroe provided an additional $100,000 to offset the cost of construction. The city will pay the balance on the job.
According to city engineer Robbie George, Vista Construction will build 10-foot concrete trails along the outer edges of the wetlands area. On the interior of the wetlands area, six-foot asphalt trails will be built.
Rehabilitating the former Trenton Street Golf Course is one aspect of the city's master plan to improve the quality of life in West Monroe. The master plan also calls for the construction of a 10-foot walking/biking trail from Kiroli Park to Highland Park along Arkansas Road. The trail would continue along Trenton Street to downtown West Monroe and onward to Lazarre Park along the Ouachita River.
In other business, the Board of Aldermen adopted a $21.4-million general fund budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget anticipates the city collecting some $22.2 million in revenue in the new fiscal year. At the end of the new fiscal year, the city's fund balance should rise to $7.5 million.
Aldermen also adopted a $5.23-million utility fund budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The city expects the utility fund to collect some $5.5 million in revenues.