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Town accepts additional Trail Conservancy funds

Danielle Ryan

(6/15) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to accept an additional $10,000 from the Recreational Trail Program Grant from the Trail Conservancy at the June 6th Town meeting. This additional sum of money would be added to the $30,000 that was accepted by the Trail Conservancy two months ago.

At the April Town meeting, the Commissioners had some concern with what sum of money could be accepted. Concern from Commissioners initially related to the town having to match funds related to a parking lot and additional signage. In the end, it was agreed upon that funding was not available at the time for the parking lot and signage. The Board accepted the $30,000 match from the Trail conservancy, meaning that there was no out of pocket cost for town.

Early in June, the Trail conservancy came forward with a proposal of an addendum to the original grant proposal. This addendum would include the modification of the original grant and how the grant would be applied in order to recover an additional $10,000. This $10,000 would be added to the $30,000 that the Town already accepted. The additional sum of money however, would only be used for the same purposes as the already accepted $30,000, which is covering the costs of professional design of new trails for the town as well as the construction of the new trails.

Commissioner Joe Ritz brought up the question of the parking lot, which was discussed at the April meeting. The additional money will not be used for a parking lot or signage. Ritz primarily had concerns about the potential parking lot being placed on top of the mountain when there is a growing necessity for a parking lot in town, where public parking is already limited. Other Board members agreed that this was a viable concern. There was no opposition to the parking lot being placed on top of the mountain, but Commissioner Ritz wanted the rest of the Board to consider the placement of a parking lot within the town itself to accommodate the public. As it stands, the town may still be obligated to provide $2,000 for further signage for the trails, which would include guide signs along the trails, as well as the development of a parking lot.

A motion was made for Emmitsburg to accept the $10,000 without obligation of funds from the Town. This $10,000 addition would be added to the $30,000 with a total sum of $40,000 accepted from the grant to be used for trail design and construction. The intention is to use the grant this year as there is only a two-year window to use the money. The board voted unanimously and the motion passed.

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