Canalway Trail completion eyed with grant effort

FONDA-The Montgomery County Finance Committee has forwarded a resolution to seek grant funding that would help complete the remaining portion of the Canalway Trail.

According to the resolution, the trail project is eligible for the grant after meeting requirements from the state Department of Transportation, as well as the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan to “promote tourism in the county.”

Funding for the grant would be a share of 25 percent for the county, while the rest would be paid for by the state. According to Doug Greene, Montgomery County Planner, the award amount is guessed to be roughly $3.2 million dollars from the state to pay for the remaining seven miles of the bike path, which is under the authority of the New York State Parks Department.

However, the price is not precise.

“Its a very ballpark number,” Greene said.

The remaining portions, which are not paved, would have concrete or asphalt laid out by county employees, Department of Public Works Chairman Paul Clayburn said.

“It is a work in progress,” Greene said.

Greene said the resolution would give the Planning Department the right to apply for the funding. More work would need to be done.

According to the Parks & Trails New York website, the organization, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corp. and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, is working to complete what ultimately will be a 524-mile continuous trail along New York’s historic Erie, Oswego, Cayuga-Seneca, and Champlain canals. Parks & Trails says the Erie Canalway Trail now is more than three-fourths complete.

“This multi-use recreational trail complements several state, federal and local efforts to reinvigorate the historic canal corridor,” the website said.