The Rochester City Parks Department is seeking an extra $2 million per year from taxpayers to maintain current parks and trails, all while continuing to expand those trails. One example is the 1.2 mile bike/pedestrian Chester Woods Trail Link to Eastwood Golf Course. This trail, approved by the City Council in November 2017, had an original budget of $1.4 million. Current budget is $2.5 million, an 80% increase! The CWT Link option narrowly passed, and in discussions with Public Works, community members have stated this is probably not the best route for residents.

Trail concerns:

  • From Highway 14 to Eastwood Golf Course, the trail is at an 11% grade and crosses a seven-lane highway. The recommended ADA safety grade is 5%.

  • State and federal grants to help fund this project were extended and swapped to fund other projects. How and why?

  • The trail abuts working farms that put trail users within feet of sprayed chemicals, active farm machinery, etc.

  • It divides landowner property.

The City of Rochester has threatened us with eminent domain, even though we do not live in Rochester. Our family enjoys using the Rochester bike/ped trails and feel the location of the trail does not make it accessible to all Rochester citizens.

Please contact your City Council member today to demand they put the Chester Woods Trail Link project on hold for a public review. At 80% over estimate, this $2.5 million project has financial implications for Rochester's tax base during current economic times.

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Konnie and Brian Smith, Marion Township