The City of Island City is moving forward in its effort to chart the future of the Grande Ronde Greenway Project.

Island City Mayor Delmer Hanson announced at Monday night’s city council meeting that a committee has been named to advise the city council on decisions that need to be made regarding the Greenway Project, a proposed asphalt trail connecting La Grande and Island City.

“I feel good about it. We have representatives of all concerned entities,” Hanson said, noting that committee members include landowners in the proposed Grande Ronde Greenway Project area.

One focus of the group, named the Greenway Exploration Committee, will be how the City of Island City should use a $1.1 million grant it was awarded by the state for phase 2 of the Grande Ronde River Greenway Project in August 2016. The grant is for a trail that would run from La Grande to a pond in east Island City north of Highway 82, which would be made into a park area. The trail would be off limits to motorized vehicles and meet federal handicapped accessibility standards.

Phase 1 of the project was completed about six years ago with help from a $841,000 Oregon Department of Transportation grant. Phase I begins at Riverside Park where the Greenway’s trail connects with a bike-pedestrian bridge that crosses the Grande Ronde River. From that point there is half a mile of asphalt trail running along the river east from the bridge.

The Greenway Project has been on hold since 2011 when the first phase was completed.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer