Funding deadline extended

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors last week approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation allowing the county to continue to use existing federal Rail Trail funding until 2019.

The current grant deadline expires in September.

The county has about $220,000 left from a $400,000 federal grant the county landed in 2003 to pay for the bulk of the costs in developing the third phase of the county’s ongoing Rail Trail project.

Work left in a third and final component of that phase includes acquisition of about 5.5 miles of abandoned railroad right-of-way between Route 349 (Dennie’s Crossing) in the town of Johnstown and County Highway 155 in the town of Mayfield.

The Board of Supervisors last week at the County Office Building authorized a time extension for the existing federal Tea-21 Grant funds. The resolution indicated DOT has agreed to extend the grant deadline to Sept. 30, 2019.

“County and local officials are still working to complete several work tasks related to ongoing trail development,” the resolution said.

The county has gone through two extensions of its original agreement with DOT to use the federal TEA-21 Grant funding for the Rail Trail. The Board of Supervisors in August 2007 extended the agreement of the original grant by five years to Sept. 30, 2012. The board in July 2012 again extended the grant deadline to Sept. 30 of this year.

County Planning Director James Mraz said Thursday that DOT has never had a problem with the county extending its grant use deadline.

“They’ve been very cooperative,” Mraz said.

The state is working with the county in an attempt to complete the third phase of trail work. The first component of phase three was construction of 3.5 miles of trail along the abandoned F,J&G Railroad between Fairgrounds Park on North Perry Street in Johnstown and the county line in the Johnstown Industrial Park. The second completed component was construction of 1 mile of trail between Route 30 in the town of Mayfield and Second Avenue in the town of Broadalbin.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com