Parks, economic developments said linked

    Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Steve Krull recently presented a five-year master plan for the city and county park systems to Adams County Council.
    In his report, Krull stated that the process has been over a year in the making and was a joint effort between the city and county park departments.
    Krull commented that during his time in the department, he has seen great improvement in the amount of activities offered to area residents, but little has been done to develop or maintain the park systems.
    With the South Adams Trail Project (SATI) well under way, Krull focused much of his presentation on the development of Limberlost Park, which will be developed near the Ceylon Covered Bridge in Geneva.
    Krull said that the development of this park will have a significant impact on the county because of the SATI project, which will run from Geneva to Berne, passing alongside the park.
    With 52 acres already owned by the county, Krull said additional walking trails along the river can be created, eventually connecting with the SATI trail.
    "With the development of the SATI trail, and with the construction underway at the Gene Stratton Porter home ... there's a great opportunity for economic development for the county," said Krull. "I'm afraid if we don't get involved in this, and some of our other parks, we're going to miss an opportunity that may not come back around."
    With the rehabilitation of the covered bridge, Krull said there is an immediate need to provide an electrical system at the park and area surrounding the bridge, allowing the possibility for festivals to be held and increasing security systems for patrons.
    Krull said he contacted REMC about installing a new system and the preliminary costs are between $6,000-$10,000.
    Council President Randy Colclasure asked if any consideration has been made to develop the trail system to link Decatur, Berne and Geneva.
    Krull said this is definitely part of the long-term goal, but that this would be a much more difficult undertaking. He noted that much of the land along the old railroad system, which is where the trail would be located, runs through area farm land.
    "It's good to see the city and county working together to help develop the parks," said councilman Stan Stoppenhagen.
    The council adopted the five-year master plan, 7-0.