At its Jan. 21 meeting, the Nebraska City City Council approved a plan from the Nebraska City Trail Study group to explore a funding feasibility study for the project.
Spokesman Doug Friedli told the council it is the group's intent not to spend tax dollars to fund the estimated $3.5 million project cost. Plans call for the group to solicit private donations and to seek state and federal grants.
The feasibility study, which Friedli estimated would take two or three months to complete, will help the group gauge interest from potential donors in supporting the project.
Once funding sources are identified, Friedli said the group would return to the council to request permission to apply for grants.
Finally, Friedli said the city's permission to complete the trail project will be needed once funding has been secured.
City Administrator Grayson Path said the city of Nebraska City would likely be the lead agency on the project, which may require cooperation from Otoe County and the Nemaha Natural Resources District to complete the trail project.
“It makes sense to use the same engineer and the same contractor” throughout the project, said Path. “It's more efficient than having a bunch of groups trying to connect to the trail.”

In other matters, council members
Approved a renewal agreement with Southeast Community College to allow EMT and paramedic students to ride along with Nebraska City Rescue;
Approved a request from the Mayhew Cabin and the Wildwood Historic House to use the cemetery hay field as a re-enactment site and parking area for a Civil War event from Oct. 4 through 6;
Approved requests from Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce and the Legally Prom Committee for fund-raising auction items;
Approved five work orders from the Board of Public Works to purchase the following equipment: a 2020 Freightliner bucket truck (cost: $289,911.98), a Bobcat mini excavator ($33,583), a Fluke infrared camera (($15,587.50), a Ford F250 extended cab pickup truck (($51,261.38), and Ford F450 pickup ($56,979.30), all of which are included in the current BPW budget as capital improvement projects;
Declared the property at 405 5th Terrace to be a nuisance and an unsafe building. The property owner now has 30 days to remedy the structural issues that were caused by a 2017 fire with the property or demolish it;
Approved a direct loan for $450,000 from Farmers and Merchants Bank to finance the Morton-James Public Library heating, ventilation and air conditioning replacement project. Loan terms are 10 years at 2.65 percent; and
Approved a direct loan of $17,655 from Farmers and Merchants Bank for the purchase of a Kubota lawnmower for the Parks and Rec Department. Loan terms are 5 years at 2.6 percent.
The next regularly scheduled Nebraska City City Council meeting will convene at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in the Bill Davis Room of City Hall, 1409 Central Ave.