The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation Sends Out a Rock Island Trail Funding Alert
Missouri residents are urged to contact their local legislators to support the Rock Island Trail funding in HB 6. The Missouri Senate recently eliminated the $2.9 million budget for the trail, despite the federal government approving the grant. The governor requested the appropriation, and the Missouri House approved it, but the Missouri Senate zeroed out the funding.
If the legislature does not allocate the funding, it will be returned to the federal government and lost to Missouri. However, residents have one last chance to restore the funding. When HB 6 goes to Conference Committee, the committee can follow the House version (which includes the $2.9 million funding) or the Senate version (which zeroes out the funding).
Residents are encouraged to contact their Missouri State Senator and Missouri State Representative and ask them to support the $2.7 million federal grant for the Rock Island Trail, which was approved by the House but removed by the Senate. The decision regarding the funding will be made by Friday, May 5th, 5 pm, when all 2024 budget bills must be complete.
Missouri State Parks applied for and received an American Rescue Plan Act Tourism Grant through the Economic Development Administration to be used specifically for the development of the Rock Island Trail. The grant needs to be appropriated now and spent by 2026 on the Rock Island Trail. The funding is available, but if the Missouri legislature does not appropriate it, it cannot be used for any other project or purpose. The funding will be used to construct a 30-mile pilot section of the Rock Island Trail, expanding upon the revitalization efforts already underway.
Residents are encouraged to explain why the Rock Island Trail is important to them and their part of the state and why opposition to these kinds of trail projects is damaging to Missouri. Positive and persuasive messages will be the most effective in helping to restore the funding.
The statewide Rock Island Trail project will benefit Missouri by generating economic investment from existing businesses and establishing new trail-oriented businesses in rural communities along the corridor. For more information about the project, visit the link provided.