Culver Little Town on Lake MaxinkuckeeTuesday evening the Culver Town Council discussed changes to the Lake Max Trails phase II.  Several citizens attended the meeting in person and more were online.

Phase II of the trail goes from the park, down Washington Street, over to Plymouth Street, down to South Main Street.  The project received approval from INDOT to do some design tweaks before the project goes to bid.  Ginny Monroe said they have until mid-May to make any changes to meet the deadline.  She also told board members she has met with several citizens trying to find solutions to their concerns.

Dave Orzola who lives on South Plymouth Street read a letter of opposition from the Save Our Streets Committee which has more than 85 members.  He contends that he and many of his neighbors affected by the proposed trail had been unaware of the plan.  As he read he said, “Property owners are upset at both A. the nature of this Culver Trail which will damage the affected neighborhoods and spoil the quality of life for those affected and B. the manner in how this decision made without those affected being directly and properly informed, consulted or given the opportunity to object.”

The letter calls for a “Special Meeting” with the Culver Town Council to discuss the trail’s impacts to the neighbors.  Orzola goes on to ask that each affected property owner be notified and asked to attend. The letter also asked the council to delay any further action moving the plan forward until the special meeting can be held.

Monroe said they made some general changes like making the trail width 7 feet instead of 10 feet and they reduced the lawn space from 4 feet to 3 feet to make the trail less impactful. The changes are on Plymouth Street.  She said there aren’t any current plan changes for South Main Street.

One neighbor (Randy) asked what his liability would be if someone was riding a bike on the trail and fell in his driveway and hit their head.  He also asked about snow removal.  Ginny said city clears the phase I of the Lake Max Trail and would anticipate them clearing phase II also.

Another property owner (Greg) impacted by the trail had concerns on the drainage plans for the trail.  Monroe said after the trail design is completed then they will look at additional drains along the trail.

Frank Fumich asked why there is such pressure to move forward so quicky, why is there a deadline and what is the impact to East Washington Street especially the encroachment on his property.

The Culver Town Council president told concerned citizens this trail is one of Culver’s Stellar Projects.   The project was proposed in the 2017 Stellar application.  They held a public hearing on the trail’s design in September 2019. Monroe said letters were sent in December and January to property owners who they need to obtain property from or an easement for the project.

Letting on this project will be this summer.

The Culver Town Council will conduct a Special Session at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4, at Culver Town Hall 200 East Washington Street in Culver to review proposed changes/updates to the Lake Max Trail Phase II plans.