EDMOND — City council members voted to spent $200,000 for engineering to design a multipurpose trail around Arcadia Lake as part of a public-private project.
David Tew, with the Arcadia Lake Trail Coalition, said in a presentation to the city council this week that they expect the trail to be open by 2014 for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and others.
“This is a community resource and a community benefit,” said Tew, the Mercy Health chief operating officer.
A nearby property owner and the equestrian riders aren't in favor of how the trail is being designed around the lake.
John Fitch, a Southlake resident, told council members he is concerned about the safety of the Boys Ranch Town due to the trail bringing strangers to the area.
“This is a threat to the safety of the boys,” Fitch said.
Fitch said he is not opposed to the trail — just a trail all the way around the lake.
“I don't want a 20-mile trail,” Fitch said. “It is ridiculous. We need to be creative with our money. We don't want to be like Lake Hefner.”
Fitch warned the council members that trash associated with the trail would negatively impact the ecological system at the lake. He also said the trail would be closed from Oct. 1 to Jan. 15 because of bow hunting season at the lake.
Kathryn McKinney, a member of the Friends of Arcadia Lake Equestrian Trails, said they are not opposed to the trail at Arcadia Lake. But, she said they don't want the two trails to cross or for the jogging trail to be built near the horse trail.
“Horses are frightful,” McKinney said. “They are likely to bolt and lose a rider or crash through to another trail.”
Tew said they are working with the surrounding neighbors, the Boys Ranch, U.S. Corp of Engineers and others in the design.
A community connections meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Downtown Community Center.
Tew said he came up with the idea for the trail around the lake a year ago Monday night when he was sitting in his recliner with a separated shoulder from a bicycle accident. He said he wanted to come up with a plan where bicyclists didn't have to compete with vehicles.
Tew hopes to have the design completed in a month.
Trails are a priority for a number of people living in Edmond.
The city is designing another trail on the east side of Edmond that would run beneath Interstate 35 and continue east to Spring Creek Park at the lake. They have budgeted $1.8 million for the trail. The money will come from the 2000 sales tax passed for capital improvements.
Design work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
TAPP Development Corp. is considering building a wellness park and trail head on the west side of the interstate that could tie into the city's new trail.
“We hear about it (trails) on a regular basis,” Mayor Charles Lamb said.