Kalona officials, determining the bridge to be the perfect asset to connect the two communities via trail, began seeking grants, Schlabaugh said. In its early years, the bridge was the only way to travel between Kalona and nearby Richmond.
While the fire damage has stalled the trail project, Schlabaugh said the city still is committed to the trail and bridge.
“Our main focus has to be a good grant writing mechanism and we have been at this point,” he said.
The trail project was estimated to cost about $1.1 million before last month’s fire, which likely pushed the cost even higher, Schlabaugh said.
So far the city has been granted $292,000 through Iowa Department of Transportation enhancement funds for trail pavement and is in the process of trying to garner another $75,000 through Iowa Department of Natural Resources REAP funds
Remaining funds would come from private donations and the Washington County Riverboat Foundation — a foundation that receives 3 percent of the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort’s proceeds through annual grants and mini grants.