Rail-to Trail proposal being scrutinized

A meeting to discuss a “rail-to-trail” proposal between St. Joseph and Branch counties drew more than 100 people to Sturgis Tuesday.

The majority of the crowd opposed the plan, which calls for utilizing a rail bed between Sturgis and Coldwater to promote walking, jogging and bicycling.

Though a cost to develop the trail has not been set, its creation would come from a variety of federal sources and potential state grants.

Opponents of the plan said it would compromise property values, pose a security risk, limit the ability of farmers to irrigate and crop dust, and take away land from current property owners. Concerns about bathroom facilities and parking were also voiced.

The Tamarack Rail Trail is the name given to the proposed trail. Additional meetings about the issue are being planned.

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