The Hastings City Council approved obtaining appraisals for three pieces of property that would add a total of 80 acres of property for an extension on the Riverwalk Trail from Riverfront Park on East Railroad Street, east of the downtown, to Wal-Mart to the west in Rutland Township.
When the value of the property is established, they plan to apply for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Land Acquisition Grant for the properties, Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays said. “The grant typically covers 80 percent of the acquisition cost, with a local match of 20 percent,” he said.
“We have had preliminary discussion with both property owners, and have established an approximate sale price for each parcel,” he said. Two parcels are on East Railroad Street adjacent to Bliss Riverfront Park and the Riverwalk Trail; the third, which fronts State Street, would run along the abandoned railroad bed in Rutland Township to continue the extension of the trail to the west.
Stacy Broersma, an appraiser of 30 years, will complete the appraisals ahead of the grant application deadline of April 1, 2019. His $3,600 fee will be paid from the Parks and Recreation budget. If the grant is successful, the City of Hastings would retain possession of the property, Hays said.