YO! Just lettin' ya know that this event occurred in the past. So don't go planning your day around this one.


Tue Dec 18 2018 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM


Polk County Administration Bldg., Room 120
Des Moines, IA


Polk County Board of Supervisors Meeting


After several advocates and Knapp Properties spoke, the verbiage was amended the temporary and permanent easement verbiage to include a 9 month moratorium on any construction on the trail so they could explore alternatives.

After the amendment, all Polk County Supervisors voted in favor to approve the temporary and permanent easement.

Alternatives will be explored with Knapp Properties and Polk County Conservation Staff. Alternatives may consist of a new tunnel, over-pass or something else.

What we don't know

  • What if a viable alternative cannot be agreed on after 9 months? What happens?
  • Who funds the "alternative"?  the last tunnel for the trail re-alignment cost West Des Moines and taxpayers $900k
  • Who approves the alternative?  Polk Country Conservation Board and/or Board of Supervisors?
  • Does this give permission to Knapp Properties to still put in an at-grade crossing after 9 months (it sure sounds like it)
We'll post more information as it becomes available.



Distance - Unknown

YOUR support is needed (Again) for the Great Western Trail. Yes, oh so soon...

THANKS to everyone who sent emails, spoke, and came to the Polk County Conservation Board (PCCB) meeting on Wed, Dec 12th. It PAID OFF! the PCCB voted 4 to 1 to NOT to approve the at-grade crossing on the Great Western Trail.

But.. Knapp Properties is now taking the proposal for the permanent at-grade crossing to the Polk County Board of Supervisor's meeting on Tues, December 18th at 9:30 am.

Staff is trying to get the at-grade crossing agenda item deferred from the Dec 18th meeting, but for now it is on the agenda so we must be prepared.

We are asking trail supporters to do the following:
#1 - Contact all Polk County Board of Supervisors via email or phone by MONDAY,  Dec 17th - Let them know your position.
#2 - Attend the Polk County Supervisor's Board meeting on Dec 18th or send a representative from your organization or club.

If you intend speak, show up EARLY as the public comments will be first!


We were pleased when the Polk County Conservation Board (PCCB) voted against the at-grade crossing on the Great Western Trail with the best interest of conservation and preservation.

Even though the PCCB voted against the at-grade crossing doesn't mean the Polk County Board of Supervisors will vote the same way.

It is our understanding that it would be unprecedented if the Supervisors voted for the at-grade crossing to "give away" land through the permanent easement that the PCCB already voted against. The two entities usually work together pretty well, but this is John Mauro's last meeting and trying to get things done before Matt McCoy takes office.

We don't want to see Supervisors to question "What's a the issue with just one at-grade crossing?" "What could it hurt?". The PCCB already voted against this.

Convenience Store? We have no proof, but with the driveways, the medians and the sketch, we think a convenience store is planned for this location. Take a look at attached sketch.

BIKEIOWA is against ANY at-grade crossing on the Great Western Trail, but we are especially concerned with the thought of a convenience store at this location. Talk about distracted drivers! Food, drink, phones, seat belts and anything else drivers do when leaving a convenience store/gas station.

The Great Western Trail is a asset to our community. Don't let us lose it forever with an at-grade crossing... a permanent easement is... permanent!


Contact each member of the Polk County Board of Supervisors and voice your support for the PCCB’s decision. Remind them of their mission Tell them why the trail and trail safety is important to you. Ask then to either defer to the PCCB's vote or grant time for the PCCB and Knapp to explore alternatives before making a final decision.

Stress that the Maffitt Lake Road will provide needed access to these parcels WITHOUT an at-grade crossing!

It is important to convey the significance the integrity of the trail plays in conservation and recreation and to promote the possibility of alternative solutions. For example - An access off of Moffitt Lake Road that does not cross the trail would accomplish the same results without impacting the Great Western Trail experience.

There is only ONE Great Western Trail. Once it is compromised there is no turning back.

There are five members on the Board of Supervisors, each elected by citizens in one of the five districts. Individuals serve staggered four-year terms, with elections held every two years. The Board elects one of its members annually to serve as chair.

The Board of Supervisors has both legislative and administrative powers and is the policy-making body for Polk County government. With its authority to adopt legislation and policies for department operations, the Board sets priorities, allocates resources and maintains budgetary control.

Their Mission Statement

To effectively represent the interests of County citizens and provide leadership in the greater community of Polk County.

County Mission & Values

Polk County exists to serve the public. We are committed to service excellence, fiscal responsibility and enhancing the quality of life. We will be the most effective, productive, and responsive local government in Iowa.

They are committed to eight core values:
  1. The County’s greatest asset – its employees – will understand their individual value to the organization, and be provided with the encouragement, opportunities and resources to reach their maximum potential.
  2. As an organization we will operate with a clear, multi-year plan.
  3. We are committed to diversity. Our workforce and the services we provide and procure will reflect the diversity of our community.
  4. We will be leaders in the continuous pursuit of improvement and innovation.
  5. We will promote the development of partnerships that benefit the whole community, and we will foster cooperation among units of government.
  6. We will use advancements in technology to fulfill our mission.
  7. Our citizens and clients, when surveyed, will rate our performance as excellent.
  8. All policies and decisions regarding Polk County government programs, services and processes will be consistent with our mission.

And if you can, PLEASE attend the meeting on Dec 18th to show your support and the support for all those who love the Great Western Trail

Polk County Board of Supervisors

Robert Brownell  -
Angela Connolly -
Steve Van Oort -
Tom Hockensmith -
John F. Mauro -

They all list the same email and phone numbers on the

You may also reach out to the Staff of the Board for more contact info.




Here are some news and features we've posted over the past two years. We recommend going back and reading these to see what we've already been through to preserve the trail thus far.



Polk County Administration Bldg., Room 120

111 Court Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309




Who Posted

  • Posted Dec 15, 2018 by bikeiowa
  • Modified Dec 19, 2018 by bikeiowa
  • Recap Posted Dec 19, 2018



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