ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — An environmental group fighting a stalled proposed reservoir in central Indiana has lined up backing from four mayors for its alternative plan of a recreation trail.
But Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. is withholding support of the Mounds Greenway, the proposed trail along the White River between Muncie and Indianapolis. He said there are several unanswered questions about funding and maintenance.
Broderick told The Herald Bulletin that trail system maintenance is expensive and that he’d be more interested in the project if the Hoosier Environmental Council received some grant funding.
Though the broad vision for the project sounds good on paper, the plan lacks details about funding and upkeep of the trail, he said.
“It would provide an indirect economic development benefit,” Broderick said. “It’s not a bad plan, but who would pay for it and how would it work?”
The Hoosier Environmental Council on Monday released letters of support for the trail from the mayors of Muncie, Noblesville, Westfield and Carmel.
“It’s great the mayors of cities in Hamilton County support the expansion of the trails,” Broderick said. “Are they willing to help pay for it?”
Tim Maloney, senior policy director for the environmental council, said the group had met with Broderick last year.
“After he told us he was neutral at that time, we did not go back to him again before making this announcement, since we had no indication that his position had changed,” Maloney said.
Supporters say the greenway would preserve the river and conserve 2,300 acres of land. It’s estimated to cost up to $40 million.
The trail is being presented as an alternative to the $450 million Mounds Lake Reservoir project, which would dam the river in Anderson.