GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Girard City Council has started the process to take land for a new bike trail through eminent domain.

The bike trail would run along the Mahoning River from the city’s Leatherworks property to the Lake-to-River trail in Weathersfield Township.

A map of a proposed bike trail in Girard, Ohio.

The city needs land owned by a railroad company to make it happen but, even though it is unused land by the company, the company refuses to sell it to the city.

“We attempted for many years now to buy it directly from the railroad. It’s been a difficult ordeal. We’ve been in court with them for quite a long time. That would be the ideal way to conclude the transaction, by merely paying a fair price,” said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi.

Melfi says the city is applying for grants to help clean up pollution at the old Leatherworks site and help make the process of turning it into a park go faster.