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Village Vision News

Feds convey former railroad parcel to Village

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rails-to-Trails Act adds recreational space

At the July 1 meeting, a presentation by a representative from the Bureau of Land Management Northeastern States District, put the finishing and official touches on a plan that had been years in the making.

By presenting Mayor Marilyn Johnson with a quitclaim deed under the National Trails System Act as amended in 1988 — more commonly known as the “Rails-to-Trails Act” — the BLM conveyed a 200-foot-wide railroad right-of-way to the Village of Forsyth. Totaling almost 15 acres, the Village will use the former railroad right-of-way as a community trail and for other public purposes that are compatible with recreational use.

“The Village of Forsyth has been working with the Bureau of Land Management to acquire this property for some time now,” Johnson said. “We are pleased that those efforts have paid off, allowing the Village to add this property to the Village’s extensive trail system. This property will be a great asset to the Village, its residents and all who use the Village’s trail system.”

In the January 28, 2016, edition of the Village Vision, the area was described as follows: “This particular piece of land is part of a 10.5 mile stretch of what was once part of a railroad line. The portion of the land located in the Village runs roughly from south of Weaver Road behind Lowe’s north to County Highway 20.”

Stephanie Carman, BLM associate district manager for the Northeastern States District, based in Milwaukee, did the honors.

“We thank Jeff (Village Attorney Jurgens) for all his hard work and you all for your patience,” Carman said as she presented Johnson with the deed. “This has been very complicated, and we’re so pleased to do this.”

Trustee Jim Peck also thanked Jurgens for his years of work on the project and assured Carman and the BLM that this was a positive move.

“We’ll take good care of it,” Peck said. “It’s going to be a big deal for us. We tend to do things right.”

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