Supervisors on board with seeking grant for Rail?Trail

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors on Monday applied for $1.4 million in new federal grant funding for the unfinished Rail Trail, and allocated $150,000 of existing funding to rehabilitate the city of Johnstown part of the trail.

The Board of Supervisors took action at the County Office Building on two fronts in an effort to complete the trail project.

The original trail project was initiated in the late 1980s after the closing of the FJ&G Railroad. Work has mostly been done in the Glove Cities on some of the proposed 18 miles of trail, but the goal of having one end of the trail extend north into the town of Mayfield has fallen short. Work also is still pending in the city of Johnstown.

Fulton County was previously awarded a $400,000 federal grant in 2002 to develop parts of the trail.

In the first resolution introduced Monday, the board authorized board Chairman William Waldron to sign a $1.4 million grant application and submit it to the state Department of Transportation for federal Transportation Equity Act Funds. Application submissions are due Aug. 16.

The board’s Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee and Finance Committee recommended the county apply for the new grant to obtain additional funding needed to complete the original Rail Trail project. The application would request funds for both Fulton County and the city of Johnstown to complete all work needed on the Rail Trail project.

Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo asked if there was any update on the status of the properties the county needs to complete a section of the trail.

Mayfield Supervisor Rick Argotsinger, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee, said there was no change.

About 5.5 miles of Rail Trail from Route 349 (Dennie’s Crossing) in the town of Johnstown to County Highway 155 in the town of Mayfield has not been completed.

In the meantime, the board also decided in a second resolution to allocate $150,000 to the city of Johnstown for a rehabilitation project on the Rail Trail from Fairgrounds Park, south to the county line. A total of $220,000 in old county money for the trail exists and in addition to the $150,000 that will be expended for the city from that, the other $70,000 will go toward right-of-way acquisition in Johnstown. The acquisition costs include survey, title and legal work.

The city has an estimated $300,000 worth of trail rehabilitation work pending throughout the city. The city also has been eyeing an estimated $500,000 Rail Trail extension project. The city wants to extend the trail from Union Avenue Extension to the Fulton-Montgomery counties line.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at