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Hamltonban backs trail effort

(7/14) Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors voted at their July2 meeting to join a partnership assembled to establish a trail system that will take-in a portion of the township.

Board of supervisors Vice-chairwoman Coleen N. Reamer said the board agreed at the meeting to partner with Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, Camp Eder, Michaux State Forest, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development initially in pursuing a grant to conduct a feasibility study for a trail system.

The trail system, tentatively referred to as the Middle Creek Trail, will connect Fairfield Borough to “the cabin property” on land formally belonging to the Glatfelter tree farm operations, which is now part of Michaux State Forest.

The trail, which Reamer described as a nature trail, as opposed to a multi-purpose recreational trail, would be approximately three miles in length when completed.

The first step towards developing the trail system is to acquire a grant to conduct a feasibility study, which will be headed-up by Strawberry Hill, Reamer stated.

“Strawberry hill writing the grant and will administer the grant through Strawberry Hill,” Reamer said. “The rest of us are supporting partners.” At this stage, “Strawberry Hill is just managing the grant application.”

The grant being sought for the study would be a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) South Mountain Partnership grant, and would be for about $10,000, representing less than half the projected $20,800 price tag of the feasibility study.

The remaining amount, estimated at about $10,800, would be provided by the partners in the form of in-kind services, such as staff time and labor, office and meeting space, and other related activities. “Five partners will be doing some type of responsibility sharing,” Reamer said.

The overall cost of the project from start to finish cannot be determined until the feasibility study is completed, Reamer stated. “The feasibility study is (also) what you need to present to future grant sources after determining the costs to build the trail and the costs to maintain it.”

Provided the grant application is approved by the DCNR South Mountain Partnership, Reamer said it is expected the money would be awarded “around October.”
The supervisor estimated the feasibility study would take from six months to a year to complete.

As far as finishing the trail project itself, she said, “We don’t have a guesstimate on the completion date of the trail, but would hope easier portion open shortly within a year of the completion of the (feasibility) study.”

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