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A new vision for Central Lakes Trail

The Central Lakes Trail in Osakis runs by the former Osakis elevator, now owned by Panther Distillery. (Osakis Review file photo)

New improvements are in the works for the Central Lakes Trail in Osakis.

Dan Wessell from the Osakis Area Chamber of Commerce revealed the plans to the city council at its Jan. 3 meeting.

One of the ideas is a bicycle repair station where bikers could make basic repairs and maintenance, such as fixing a flat tire, adjusting the brakes and derailleurs or filling a low tire.

Another amenity would make 10 or 12 bicycles available for visitors and residents to use on the trail. It would likely be a honor system. People could use the bikes and then return them to a bicycle rack when they are finished with their ride.

Wessell said the bikes would be painted red and the bicycle racks would be silver, reflecting the colors associated with Osakis.

The chamber would cover the full cost of the repair station, bikes and racks, Wessell said.

"We need to keep doing things to enhance our community," Wessell told the council. "This is another thing people can do here."

The bikes and repair station would be placed on a 6-by-10 foot cement slab with a short sidewalk leading to the trail. One location that was discussed would be near where the historic downtown clock used to be.

The council also talked about other ideas to improve the trail — a billboard or kiosk, similar to the one in Alexandria, that would show the trail route through Osakis; providing access to the bathrooms located inside the Osakis Visitor/Information Center, which could be open all year long; adding a "grocery getter" cart as another bike people could access from the trail; moving the historic clock, which is in storage right now, so it's near the new amenities; and the possibility of donating a small corner of land to the Department of Natural Resources for the improvements.

City council member Justin Dahlheimer noted that he would look into the possibility of getting a grant for some of the improvements through the Lake Region Arts Council.

While other amenities are being explored, the council gave the chamber its blessing to pursue the repair station, bikes and racks.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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