Though an official opening is likely months away, much of a paved pathway connecting Peru’s River Walkway to the Nickel Plate Trail is nearing completion and some people are even sneaking in a little use.
“That’s fine, people are excited about it,” Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority told the Tribune last week.
Tidd said that to many it may appear that the project is done, but there are spots awaiting work.
“There’s still a section that needs some paving,” he said. That same area, situated between the ballfields at West City Park and the Wabash River, also requires some additional site work before the paving can begin.
Once that final connection is made between the west end at the Nickel Plate Trail bridge and the Broadway end, crews will still need to complete some landscaping and then apply a top coat on the asphalt once weather permits.
After that, Tidd said, there will likely be some sort of ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail for use.
The trail extends along the backside of the construction site for the new Miami County YMCA.
Funding for the project is paid for with the help of tax increment financing-backed bonds approved by the Peru City Council in 2020.
The council in June approved a funding package that would lend $700,000 in TIF funds to the YMCA project and the extension of the Riverwalk.
The need for the extra cash devoted in the deal to the YMCA project came up after testing at the old CSX property where the building is being built determined that the planned YMCA would need a more robust foundation system.
The deal administered by MCEDA will see the bonds be repaid with the money brought in as a result of planned increased property values at the YMCA site once the project is complete.
Plans for the CSX property also include residential development.