CLINTON — Elected officials often jump at the chance to receive free money.

By doing so Tuesday, the Clinton City Council committed to raising a hefty share of funds from its own pockets.

By a 4-3 vote, the council approved accepting a $250,000 state grant for a new multi-purpose recreational trail on the north side of town; now officials will have to raise $300,000 more to build it.

It was a measure At-Large Councilman Mark Vulich said he wasn’t comfortable with.

“That will be $300,000 for streets that won’t be fixed,” Vulich said.

The proposed path would extend east from Eagle Heights Elementary School parking lot and connect to the existing Discovery Trail.

First Ward Councilman Bob Soesbe said the city should accept the grant because free money is hard to turn down for a project the city would do anyway. He also said the trail would give kids a way to walk and bike to the elementary school.

“Someday we’re going to put this in,” Soesbe said. “For kids to ride their bike to schools they will have to have off-street trails.”

City Finance Director Debbie Neels said the project would have to be bonded. The council is currently considering additional bonding for street repairs, the property acquisition for the proposed Lincolnway Railport and other community improvements.

Without the approval of the resolution Tuesday the city would not get any funding.

The grant originally was awarded in 2006, but the extra money needed to complete the project was missing. The city will now have one year to complete the trail.

In other action, the Committee of the Whole approved a new plan for city personnel that will cover pay for some non-union employees, better job descriptions and expectations of performance and behavior for all employees.

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