The Story County Board of Supervisors approved a request from Story County Conservation to secure services to conduct a feasibility study for sustainable local funding on Tuesday.

The survey will be conducted through private donations, as opposed to county funds, and the Conservation board will continue to review future additional funding capacities.

The Trust for Public Land’s program seeks to help communities identify funding sources, both state and local, for parks and land conservation efforts. According to a memo sent from the TPL to the Conservation board, included in the TPL’s feasibility research will be an examination of the county’s revenue-raising capacity, fiscal impact to government budget and taxpayers and how those measures would be implemented.

Board chair Linda Murken said that results of the survey could be delivered back to the board, at latest, Spring 2020. Following the results, Murken said the county would start a public opinion survey, to determine the county’s conservation needs through input from the residents.

Board approves reimbursement request for Heart of Iowa Trail paving

Through the consent agenda, the board approved reimbursement requests to the Iowa Department of Transportation Heart for segments of paving of the Heart of Iowa trail.

The Heart of Iowa Trail currently connects the communities all across the south side of Story County — Slater, Huxley, Cambridge, Maxwell and Collins, and efforts to pave the trail have been ongoing since 2016.

The indicated pavement for the reimbursements is between county road 38 and 535th Avenue.

A large section of the trail from Slater to Huxley was paved this summer, the remaining unpaved strip is a about a quarter-mile stretch of gravel road connecting the trail to bike lanes on County Road E-63. Officials said there are plans to pave that stretch of gravel road in the coming year

Two separate grants, a transportation alternative grant for $190,000,000 and a state recreational grant for $275,067 were noted, according to county documents.