Johanns office will inquire about local pathway project changes - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Johanns office will inquire about local pathway project changes in Scotts Bluff County

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Nebraska senator Mike Johanns plans to ask the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) why plans for a new pathway project in Gering were changed unexpectedly causing local county and project leaders scrambling to meet a deadline.
Scotts Bluff County leaders are looking to create a pathway on federal land. The trail would start near the Legacy of the Plains Museum, run along Old Oregon Trail Road and end west near the Scotts Bluff National Monument.

During the latest Scotts Bluff County Commissioners meeting, Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau Director Brenda Leisy told the board that FHWA officials are asking project leaders to pay $100,000 when originally both sides agreed to $11,000 plus in-kind services back in May 2013.

Leisy informed the board that project leaders have less than 60 days to do so. She said FHWA officials told project leaders that they would no longer accept labor and services.

She told the board that she sent a letter to state representatives last week, including congressman Adrian Smith and senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer, asking for more time to be able to gather the money.

On Tuesday, Leisy said Johanns' office said that they "will open a congressional inquire" and meet with FHWA officials.
"I feel really good about it," said Leisy. "I guess sometimes you always feel like you can't reach out to those people because they're just so busy and everybody is just so convinced that they just don't listen to you but this is proof that they do."
Leisy says the pathway project could benefit the whole community.
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