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Timeline announced for trail expansion

Danielle Ryan

(4/7) During the April 3 Town meeting, Commissioner, President, Tim O’Donnell updated the Board on the trail expansion for the town’s multi-user trails, and provided a timeline for the next year and a half as the project continues to progress.

In May of 2016, Emmitsburg received a $30,000 state grant, which was originally accepted to fund additional signage throughout the trail system, additional parking as well as the construction of another trail. However, the trail grant was later modified through the Trail Conservancy and State Highway Administration and the monies will now be entirely used for the construction of a 6th trail.

As a contingency of this grant, Emmitbsurg will be responsible to verify that the trail development and construction meets town codes – much in the same way it handles any contractor operating on Town property. While there will be a cost to the town to provide oversight, it will represent just a fraction of the overall cost of the planned expansion of the popular trail program. The grant also requires Trail Conservancy to match 20% of the grant, which the Conservancy does through its contribution of volunteer labor.

The current trail system consists of five trails of varying degrees of difficulty for both hikers and bikers. Volunteers help maintain these trails during trail cleaning days throughout the year. 1,453 volunteer hours have already been logged, at a state rate of $23/hour for a total of $33,149 worth of volunteer time. These hours can actually be used as matching funds for the grant, if the town were to need to tap into this reserve, which at this point isn’t necessary.

The period for vendor submission and review begins on June 1, and the Trail Conservancy will announce their choice for the trail contractor later in October. If all goes to plan, the trail construction can begin in June 2018, and be completed by August 2018.

In other news, town staff was informed on March 31 that the Main Street Square Revitalization project, which was slated to begin in April, would be delayed until May. State Highway Administration will be responsible for detour signage and re-routing when construction does begin.

With the town pool out of commission for the summer, Commissioner Buckman was excited to report that Waynesboro has extended their pool hours and rates for Emmitsburg residents. She has pre-arranged the agreement and if residents wish to use the Waynesboro pool during this summer, they just need to indicate that they are residents of Emmitsburg, and the rates will be extended to them.

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