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Carroll Valley Path System approved

Danielle Ryan

(6/15) At the June 14th Carroll Valley Borough Council meeting, Lori Davidson provided a presentation on the 2004 CV Path System Implementation Plan. In 2004, a plan entitled the Carroll Valley Path System was proposed. A variety of trails already exist in Hamiltonban Township but there is no connection between major population centers or adjoining Fairfield and Carroll Valley Boroughs.

This new trail system hopes to provide a solution to this problem, as well as decrease foot traffic along Route 116, and provide a safer alternate for children walking to and from school. Davisdon also hopes that the trail system may encourage community and youth involvement through volunteerism, encourage physical fitness and overall enhance the community.

The plan will consist of three phases; phase one being the only phase currently on the table for immediate consideration. Within Carroll Valley proper, the full proposed plan calls for connecting the trails in and around Ranch Park with the Fairfield schools. In addition, the trail will connect to existing trails around the lakes in Carroll Valley and to the trails around Ski Liberty. It is also proposed that a connection trail will be built to connect Michaux State Park with Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve. However, phase one will consist of the construction of a trail from Fairfield School to Ski Liberty.

The trail will be five miles long and will run parallel to Route 116. The width will be eight to twelve feet, made out of semi-permeable materials such as crushed stone/gravel instead of pavement and will be handicap accessible.

Davidson has been in correspondence with PADCNR, and met with a member of DCNR in February to discuss the possibility of the trail proposal, and hopefully, monetary assistance in the form of a grant to assist with the project. At that meeting, she presented a description of the trails, cost analysis, potential sponsors and stake holders.

The current cost estimate for construction and implementation of phase one of this Path System is proposed to be between $250,000 and $300,000. Davidson asked the Board to allow the submission of an application to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This particular grant funds up to $250,000 and only requires a fifteen percent match from the Borough. The application deadline was June 30th, so it was pertinent to receive approval at the meeting. News regarding the approval/awarding of funds would be received in the fall.

An additional grant entitled the Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2) can also be applied for later this year, and would be awarded early in 2017. The C2P2 grant is a 50/50 match grant, but if the DCED grant were awarded, the additional fifteen percent needed from the Borough would be covered by the C2P2 grant, meaning that the Borough would not have to incur any costs. Ideally, the Borough would apply for both grants.

The C2P2 grant will also require involvement or connection to other community trails or conservation programs. Davidson reached out to Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and South Mountain Conservation Program who both are on board for collaborative efforts.

The Board voted unanimously to allow the application for the DCED grant to be submitted. Information in regards to the approval of the grant may be available this fall.

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