The City of Belton prides itself on it's outdoor amenities.
So much so, the city council approved a costly project to extend it's hike and bike trail.
Belton's city council authorized $467,075 for an agreement with KPA Engineers to extend the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail back in Feb.
The Nolan Creek hike and bike trail is currently 1.26 miles long and connects the Harris Community Park, the Yettie Polk Park and the Confederate Park. It runs along the Nolan Creek in downtown Belton, too.
"The first phase of the trail was built in 2006, and it's been one of the catalysts for downtown growth," Paul Romer with the City of Belton said.
But as the City of Belton continues to grow, the amenities need to as well.
"One of the features of this trail that we're most excited about is it's gonna tunnel under the railroad tracks and connect north and south Belton," Romer added.
Overall, the extension from Martin Luther King Jr Ave. to Sparta Rd. will cost over $2 million.
Thanks to a federal grant, the City of Belton will only have to pay 20 percent. Generous donations from Councilman David Leigh and University of Mary Hardin Baylor have nearly cut that number in half.
"UMHB is always a great partner for us. They've made a generous contribution of $100,000 to help make this a possibility," Romer said.
"UMHB has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the City of Belton for many, many years, and when we heard about this extension of the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail, we knew it was going to add a lot to the quality of life in Belton, so we wanted to be a part of it," Paula Tanner, the Vice President of Communications and Special Projects at UMHB, said.
Councilman Leigh told News Channel 25 he enjoys serving the City of Belton, so he's glad his donation will help move the project forward.
The extension, still in the planning phase now, is expected to start construction in 2018 and be completely finished by 2020.
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