Hike funding

The BEVT project is seeking grants | News, Sports, Jobs

LOCK HAVEN — The Clinton County Board of Commissioners received an update from county planning director Katie de Silva during a business meeting Monday morning at the Piper Building.

According to de Silva, she plans to approve a state grant of up to $250,000 to fund the operation of the county’s Bald Eagle Valley Trail to Lock Haven and the Chestnut Grove Athletic Complex, located in the Canton of Castanea. The deadline to submit a grant application is Monday, May 30.

“It’s the Commonwealth Financing Authority – it’s a branch of the DCED – Greenways Trails Program”, said de Silva. “As always, we are trying to keep the Bald Eagle Valley trails moving forward.”

She said the state grant would be for Phase VI construction.

“Funds were already budgeted last year for this year for some of the engineering costs needed to get this project off the ground,” said de Silva.

Although the deadline is May 30, the grants will not be officially announced until the fall.

Commissioners received a cost estimate from 2020.

“By Thursday we will have the updated number,” said de Silva. “That figure is $217,000. The grant ceiling is $250,000. I think once (it) gets updated… it might be closer to $250,000.

According to de Silva, there is a 15% match.

“That’s how the process works. We’ve had other CFA grants in the past and they were easy to administer,” said de Silva.

The goal of Phase VI, de Silva said, is to connect the Castanea Trailhead to the Chestnut Grove Sports Complex and the town of Lock Haven.

“Right now people who think they’re going to ride the Bald Eagle Valley Trail in Lock Haven end up going down Paul Mack Blvd, which is really dangerous because they’d have to go through all the 220 ramps on their bikes – and people do it. I’ve seen them and I’ve seen people on foot doing it,” said de Silva.

A ramp, she says, would eliminate that problem.

The trail would pass through the Chestnut Grove facility which will be developed along Bald Eagle Creek as it loops through Lock Haven past Hanna Street. According to de Silva, it was decided that linking to the city via Hanna Street was safer than linking to Paul Mack Boulevard.

“There would be signs at the Paul Mack Boulevard entrance… cyclists and pedestrians use Hanna Street to take the Bald Eagle Valley Trail. The City of Lock Haven has already put up “share the road” signage on Hanna Street. Hanna Street is quite wide, it could even have a bike path; but really there is a nice sidewalk all along, so people can use the sidewalk,” said de Silva.

According to de Silva, phase VI is a “cheapest step” but “an important safety phase.”

“We have great support for this trail project. I hope we will succeed,” said de Silva.

The resolution to be implemented will be on the agenda for Thursday’s voting session. Clinton County commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. at the Piper Building. The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live on the Clinton County Government Facebook page.

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