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  • Tue July 29 2008
  • Posted Jul 29, 2008
By JOHN SPEER, CENTRAL IOWA PRESS TAMA - Extending the South Tama Joint Recreation Trail around Cherry Lake will now be possible. Tama City officials have sought for a number of years to acquire a segment which completes a loop around the lake. Tama City Attorney Dan Rathjen reported at the council's Monday, July 21 meeting that negotiations with Railroad Properties LLC had resulted in the real estate holding company's agreement to accept $2,500 for the 2.5 acres. The council acted quickly in voting 4-0 to make the deal during the regular council session. Members Steve Baier, Josh Youngbear, Jeff Brezina and Dan Zimmerman voted in favor. Robert Tyynismaa was absent. Railroad Properties also threw in an additional parcel totaling 1.7 acres to the west at no charge. The land was part of the old Chicago-Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way which was sold off when the line was closed in the 1980s. It runs along the northwest side of Cherry Lake. The trail currently runs from near Arrowhead Mobile Home Park on Toledo's west side to just west of the Tama Civic Center. Plans are to extend the trail north and west to the Toledo City Park near Toledo Heights and, for the trail to encircle Cherry Lake and be routed south to the Iowa River. The trail is a cooperative effort of the cities of Tama and Toledo. Toledo provided the original trail property as a portion of the land the city bought from the abandoned Chicago and Iowa Northern Railway. Long-range planning would link the trail with the proposed "Ioway Trail" which is in development from Johnson County through Iowa and Tama counties to Marshall County along the Iowa River. In 2006, the City of Tama was given the Cherry Lake property and an additional 200 adjacent acres by owner Tama Paperboard. An Iowa Off Road Vehicle Park has been developed on most of this property. Tama officials led by Mayor Chris Bearden have also proposed a gambling boat-resort complex for Cherry Lake. Tama County voters approved a referendum in 2006 approving the casino license application. However, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has declined so far to issue any additional gambling licenses in the state including one for Tama. Bearden said Monday night after the meeting the Tama gaming study has been updated and will again be available to the commission.

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