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Committee receives approval from selectmen to apply for recreational trail grant

By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer

Westborough – At the Dec. 20 Board of Selectmen meeting, Don Burn, a Westborough resident and member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), gave a presentation on a multi-use grant opportunity through the state that if received, would be used to help build a recreational trail from Otis Street and Meadow Road, past the warehouses and near the Westborough Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The treatment plant has left space for and is comfortable with the idea of a bike trail going past them,” Burn said.

By creating this bike path, an added benefit to the town would be providing access to sewer lines along the path, he added. Volunteer contractors and labor would be used as much as possible.

The grant itself would be used to build a bridge over the Assabet River. The committee is also hoping to include space for parking and a canoe launch. The cost of the project is estimated to be about $50,000 which is the maximum amount that the grant will fund.  The grant requires 20 percent to be matched.  Approximately 50 percent of applications are funded and this grant can be re-applied for in a couple of years for another similar project.

The grant is due to be submitted by Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 and preliminary notification of approval will be received by May.  It will be officially awarded in October and work needs to be completed by December of 2019.

Selectman Leigh Emery inquired, “Where will the 20 percent matching funds come from?”

Burn replied that he hoped that contractors used would contribute in-kind support and possibly the Department of Public Works would help out as well. He said that it would be possible but unlikely that they would have to go to Town Meeting for funding. Burn said that there are some smaller grants that they could also seek for supplemental funding.

Selectman George Barrette asked, “We talked about $50,000 but is it really $60,000?”

Burn clarified that it could be more like $70-$80,000 but he had hoped to get that funded by in-kind contributions.

“Would funding need to be raised and appropriated, or would Town Meeting need to vote for the initial payment?”  Selectman Chair Ian Johnson asked.

Town Manager Jim Malloy said that it depended on the grant reimbursement timing, but most likely not.

Westborough Town Engineer Carl Balduf said he is in support of this grant.

“I think this is a great effort, and I think Don has done a good job…..I think this is a great utilization of the existing trail [that is already built out]. I think the pieces are falling together very well with this bridge concept,” he said.

The board voted in favor of supporting the BPAC to proceed with the grant application.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=81637

Posted by on Dec 29 2016. Filed under Byline Stories, This Just In, Uncategorized, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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