Twp. board supports Valley Trail extension

FLINT TWP. — A resolution approved by the township board agrees to help pay a portion of local matching funds to extend the non-motorized Genesee Valley Trail to the Swartz Creek city limits.

By approving a Resolution to Support Trail Construction and Maintenance, the board agreed to pay a 20 percent share of about $95,000 in local matching funds for an estimated $908,000 project.

According to the resolution, the City of Swartz Creek would be responsible for the rest of the matching funds. Both communities are seeking grant funding to support the bulk of project costs.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the board needed to approve the resolution to be eligible to apply for grant funding from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)

– Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and additional funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Construction costs for the trail are cited at $790,000 including a grant request to MDOT for $513,500 and a request to the DNR for $276,500. An estimated final design cost of $118,500 includes an additional $23,500 in grant support from the DNR.

The township’s portion of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail would run from Norko Drive at Dye Road, southward to Miller Road, then easterly to Elms Road Park, according to the resolution.

Circa 2010, Flint Township received a $950,400 federal grant, then raised about $44,000 for engineering fees to build the 2.5-mile trail from the front of Genesee Valley Center Mall on Linden Road to the city of Flint limits near Ballenger Highway. That portion of the trail opened in 2011. In 2012, the board approved a $137,000 road reconstruction project on Norko that included extending the trail across Linden Road to connect to trails in Flint Township Park. Some of that cost was offset by matching funds from the Genesee County Road Commission.

Connecting the western end of the Genesee Valley Trail to Swartz Creek is a priority stated on the township Parks and Recreation Master plan, based on citizens’ input, according to the newly approved resolution.

The Genesee County Metropolitan Alliance also has identified the Genesee Valley Trail as a Top Priority Trail Project for Genesee County, which, when completed, will connect to the Flint River Trail in Flint.

It has not been determined when the project would begin. The grant applications are due in October of this year and March of next year, according to a tentative schedule stated in the resolution.

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