Johnstown OKs trail work

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council has approved a $63,165 contract with an Albany engineering firm to do design work to repair existing parts of the Fulton County Rail Trail system in the city.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland told the council Monday the state Department of Transportation notified the city funding has been appropriated for a Rail Trail project. She said that amount was originally about $270,000, but it was reduced to about $150,000.

Fulton County has led efforts to receive Rail Trail funding over the years. Funding is handed down from the federal government to the state. The county Board of Supervisors on June 10 allocated $150,000 to the city of Johnstown and applied for $1.4 million in new federal grant funding for the unfinished Rail Trail.

The city previously sought proposals to complete the design-related to work on the trail. Greenman-Pedersen of Albany was selected to complete design for rehabilitation of the existing trail. The council Monday approved a $63,165 contract with that firm. The walking and biking trail eventually will be repaired from Fairgrounds Park in Johnstown south to the county line. The resolution approved by the council stated the city is required to complete trail project work by Sept. 30, 2014.

City Treasurer Michael Gifford said trail funding requires a 20 percent share from the city.

Slingerland said there are tighter controls on how Rail Trail funding is administered by the state and federal governments.

“We have to abide with all the rules and regulations of those agencies,” the mayor said.

City Engineer Chandra Cotter said when it comes to grants, the Federal Highway Administration is “administering them a lot more closely.”

“What you’re left with is what you’re left with,” she said.

When it is time for the construction phase of the trail work, Slingerland said the city Department of Public Works will do a “considerable amount of work.”

Michael Anich can be reached at