The Decorah City Council has approved final funding for the $8 million Trout Run Trail project.

During its meeting Monday night, the Council approved paying off the remaining debt of about $240,000 over a three-year period. The city will use $80,000 from its annual allocation of approximately $120,000 of hotel motel funds to abate the debt for the next three years, leaving the remainder available for Decorah Parks and Recreation and tourism projects.

City Manager Chad Bird reminded Council members they were presented with the anticipated shortfall in 2011. Bird said now that all construction agreements have been closed, he consulted with City Clerk Wanda Hemesath and Park-Rec Director Andy Nimrod for a recommendation on how to cover the negative balance.

"Their proposal was to use hotel motel money to abate that debt but to do it in a way that doesn't deplete those (Hotel/Motel) monies completely and keeps some in reserve for Andy to budget for use in his department," Bird said.

Council member Gary Rustad asked Nimrod if Park-Rec Board members approved the agreement.



"They like the idea," Nimrod responded. "We will be able to do some planning. We know what we have a year in advance rather than asking for capital improvement (funds), not knowing if we're going to get it. We can do a little better long-range planning."

Bird said the Park-Rec Department would have some substantial needs in the next few years, including repairing the slide and restroom work at the swimming pool.