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Township seeks grants for projects

Look into addition of bike trail connector

January 19, 2017
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Canfield Township trustees discussed several grants for the coming year at their first meeting of 2017.

One would support the addition of a connector for the Mill Creek MetroParks bike trail, which runs to the east of Canfield Township Park on Herbert Road. By connecting the park to the bike trail, visitors could easily access both outdoor areas and travel various sections of the bikeway.

Township administrator Keith Rogers said there is a Clean Ohio Trails Fund, which works to improve outdoor recreational opportunities for Ohioans by funding trails for outdoor pursuits of all kinds, that is a 75 percent matching grant.

Administed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the grant is awarded to projects that build and maintain infrastructure allowing citizens to connect with nature. It focuses on community projects like regional trail systems and links to statewide trails, link population centers with outdoor recreation areas and facilities, preserve natural corridors and connect urban areas to support commuter access.

The application for the grant is due by Feb. 1, which gives the township time to check on the best route. Rogers said at present, it seems the best route to follow would be along the back of the Old North Church property and connect behind Star Extruded Shapes Inc. off Herbert Road.

"If we get the grant for the engineering cost and design, it would be for 2018," Rogers said.

He said a second grant the township is looking into would be a federal grant for 80 percent of the cost to build the connector. The ODNR administers federal Recreational Trails Program grants for the development and improvement of non-motorized and motorized trails. RTP is a reimbursment grant program that provides up to 80 percent of a project's funding and goes to projects that create and maintain trails and trail support facilities, improve access for people with disabilities and provide education about trail safety and the environment.

Funding for RTP comes from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

Once built, the connector would allow direct access from Canfield Township Park to the Mill Creek MetroParks bike trail, which is an 11-mile paved section of the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway.

The MetroParks Bikeway runs from Western Reserve Road in Canfield Township to the Mahoning County / Trumbull County Line in Austintowns Township.

When the GOLTRG is completed, it will be a 110-mile multimodal transportation corridor that will connect Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

"I suggest we contact Mill Creek MetroParks to see if they could help us on the engineering end of it," Trustee Marie Cartwright said.

One grant that did come through was a $144,000 grant to help with erosion issues on Mercedes Place. Rogers said close to 8 feet of drain pipe was lost due to erosion stemming from storm water coming from the Ohio Turnpike.

"The grant will help stabilize the situation," Rogers said. "The project will be done this year."

He also mentioned looking at another Ohio Turnpike grant to help the residents on Mercedes Place and Twin Oaks Court. He said the turnpike has funds to deal with excessive noise from turnpike traffic. The grant would help fund a noise reduction wall.

"We are gathering information on the grant right now," Rogers said.

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