Bike trail grant loss raises questions that need answers
City Hall should be embarrassed that Decatur failed to meet the deadline for using a $240,000 federal grant for Phase 2 of the Dr. Bill Sims Bike Trail and lost the money.
Mayor Don Kyle says he doesn't know if the city is at fault, or if the state Department of Transportation is the culprit. Councilman David Bolding called the monetary loss sad.
It appears the city may have dilly-dallied with getting the project under way, given the explanations.
The city already has six miles of the path paved and Phase 2 is to connect Rhodes Ferry Park to Wilson Morgan Park in two stages, via Eighth Street Southwest.
The DOT most likely would not have withdrawn a grant it administers if the state had been in the wrong. If, indeed, that is the case, Decatur is due an apology and $240,000.
But if the problem is at City Hall, the mayor and council might need to do some housecleaning. The city should be more aggressive in getting grants. For sure, the city shouldn't be losing them.