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Sarasota News Leader January 17, 2014 Page 64 help pay for the Legacy Trail expansion. The County Commission vote was unanimous, a positive sign for bikers, walkers and joggers who use the popular trail. Any county funding would likely go towards construction of a bridge over the Myakkahatchee Creek. That east/west pathway would connect to the Venice portion of the Legacy Trail. North Port has set aside $434,419 in its current fiscal year for the purchase of property along the Myakkahatchee Creek, which it also would use to protect a city water supply, help deal with flooding issues and preserve a natural park-like setting. A fundraising effort led by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation could pave the way for another extension — to the north. "It's kind of exciting to see that people want A sign welcomes users to the Legacy Trail. Photo courtesy Sarasota County to expand north and expand southeast," Robinson said. could take years to construct because of the County Commission Chairman Charles Hines expense. added that it was nice to see North Port has set aside funding. He said he believed the county should seek ways it could contribute to the engineering for the Myakkahatchee bridge. That initiative did receive a boost last summer, however. In August, the County Commission authorized its Public Works Department to spend $75,000 on an initial study that will cost $150,000. The county said it would look to Legacy Trail supporters for the additional "Let's move this forward as quickly as possi- funds. ble," Hines told his colleagues. Then this week, the Gulf Coast Community The 10-mile long Legacy Trail currently Foundation posted information on its webruns from Venice to just south of the city site about the plan to raise money for half of Sarasota. An effort already has begun to the expense of the feasibility study for the extend the multi-use trail northward from its extension north. After just the first day of termination south of Clark Road into down- fundraising, 5 percent of the $75,000 goal had town Sarasota. The extra 8-mile stretch been achieved. %

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