Company may grant easement for trailPublished 11:57pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Niles Township is inching closer to forging a recreation trail that will link the city of Niles’ trail with trails in Indiana.
Harry Thibault, the chairman of the Niles Township Parks Board, announced at Monday’s board of trustees meeting that American Electric Power Co. is willing to give the township an easement for a 3.5-mile stretch of railroad right-of-way property.
Thibault said it would be a 20-year renewable easement for the corridor that runs from Niles to the state line. The easement would help the township qualify for grants for the project.
Norfolk Southern, the railway company, wanted at least $1 million for the property, according to Thibault. That price tag would have been impossible for the township, so the easement was the best solution to linking with the city’s path.
Once the trails are completed in the township and in St. Joseph County, Ind., people will be able to walk and bike from Plym Park in Niles to Mishawaka along the trails.
“It’s a huge deal,” Thibault said.
Thibault said AEP needs an an “official request for easement” from township officials, so he requested that the board take action on that at its next meeting.