FLINT TWP. — Flint Township will hold a special meeting 4 p.m. Aug. 31 in hopes of getting enough votes from the board to raise money for the proposed Genesee Valley Trail.
At the Parks and Recreation meeting Aug. 26, an update on the Genesee Valley Trail was given and at that time, township officials learned they needed to raise $44,000 for engineering costs within the next 7-10 days to see the project through fruition.
The total project is approximately $1 million, but $950,400 is available through federal money for the township. The meeting was composed of representatives from the Flint Wanderers Bicycle Club, Flint River Trail, Crim Fitness Foundation, Genesee County Land Bank, Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, along with members of the community and the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Once the immediate need for funds was made clear, Matt Assenmacher, president of the Genesee Wanderers Bicycle Club and owner of Assenmacher’s Cycling Centers, said he would donate $5,000 personally and have the Genesee Wanderers match the amount. Supervisor Karyn Miller, through letter-writing efforts, said approximately $1,100 had been raised, and now approximately $33,000 would be needed.
The immediate need for the funds is due to an upcoming date of Sept. 17 for a grade inspection to be done on the trail.
Derek Bradshaw, principal planner from the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, said that all the money for the project needs to be “tied up” by December in order for the township to receive a waiver, and not have to pay back the federal money for the trail project. Bradshaw also brought up the fact that the trail project had missed the Aug. 20 deadline for submitting plans to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in order to have the Sept. 17 grade inspection.
“We need to get the engineer work done today, and we needs the funds to pay for it,” Bradshaw said.
MIller said the township or parks and recreation committee were not aware of the schedule of deadlines from MDOT.
“The next seven days are crucial for this happen,” said Jim McClung, parks and recreation committee.
The proposal for the Genesee Valley Trail involves converting an abandoned railroad into a recreational trail. The original plan for the trail, which is 2.3-miles, begins at Corunna Rd. and the old railroad crossing (near Ballenger Hwy.) and ends at the north signal light near the entrance/exit of Genesee Valley Center. Since the original plans were made, the committee decided to add an extension of the trail, adding 3,050-feet, and ending it near the police station at Norko and Fleckenstein Drives.
With the extension, the Genesee Valley Trail would be three miles. According to officials, the extension does not increase the cost required of Flint Township.
If the township is able to raise the necessary funds to move the project forward, construction on the Genesee Valley Trail would begin in Spring 2011.
Individuals and businesses interested in making donations to the Genesee Valley Trail project can stop by the township offices, 1490 S. Dye Rd., or call 810-732-1350.