Rail Trail completion proposed

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Planning Department is proposing a $1.1 million capital project for 2014 to complete the Rail Trail project begun in the 1990s, although that figure is a fluid one.

“Right now, that’s our best guess at the number,” Planning Director James Mraz recently told supervisors.

Mraz said the county will seek a grant to pay for 80 percent of the estimated cost of the project. The local share would be 20 percent, or $211,000.

“If you get the grant, this [project] is probably going to move forward,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds’ Highway Committee reviewed several proposed planning department capital projects for next year. That committee voted to send them for further review by the board’s Capital Projects Committee, which meets at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the County Office Building.

Mraz proposed a $1.05 million capital project to complete the Rail Trail, a recreational trail made over the path of the former Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad system.

Currently, two sections of the Rail Trail have yet to be completed. The largest is 5.5 miles of trail between Route 349 (Dennie’s Crossing) in the town of Johnstown and County Highway 144 in the town of Mayfield. The other section is 1.3 miles of trail between Union Avenue Extension in the city of Johnstown to the Fulton-Montgomery counties line.

Mraz said the county is trying to narrow down costs with Johnstown City Engineer Chandra Cotter.

“We’re working right now with the city engineer to see how much their piece is going to cost and how much [the county’s] is going to cost,” he said.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said federal grant money filtered down through the state paid for past trail work, as well as the county’s Gateway to the Adirondacks Visitor Center in Vail Mills. He said the local 20 percent share has in the past been made up with in-kind services within the county.

“We hope to know by the end of the year,” Mraz said of the grant.

Other capital projects proposed by Mraz for 2014 include: Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center – $3.1 million; Fonda “connector” highway feasibility and preliminary design study – $500,000; and expansion of the county’s Centralized Records Storage Facility – $40,000.

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