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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : City OKs 1st Steps Toward River Trail

October 18, 1994|CONSTANCE SOMMER

The construction of a bike, horse and hiking trail along old railroad tracks moved a step forward Monday when the Ventura City Council approved preliminary funding for the project.

Together with the county and the cities of Fillmore and Santa Paula, Ventura plans to purchase 37.8 miles of right of way from Southern Pacific Transportation Co. Before the county stepped in last year, the railroad company was selling off its property piecemeal to various buyers.

The agencies will use $7.2 million in federal funding to buy the land. In addition, Ventura has cobbled together $1.75 million in federal and state grants for creation of a 5.8-mile section of the trail.

That trail, to be called the Ventura River Trail, will link the existing Ojai Valley Trail and the beachfront Omer Rains Trail. When Fillmore and Santa Paula can assemble the funds, they also plan to construct trails along a 32-mile stretch running from Montalvo to Piru.

On Monday night, the Ventura City Council approved $50,000 to be spent on appraisals, title costs and legal costs associated with the purchase of the right of way. Officials say the city will be reimbursed with federal funds once the initial purchasing steps are completed.

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