Posted on November 22, 2021
2021 program marks first grants offered for design and licensing work
Morris County Council of Commissioners tonight received a recommendation to award $ 926,498 in grants for ten trail projects under the six-year Morris County Trail Building Grants program. .
This year’s recommendations include six grants for the design and licensing of local trail projects. The other four projects recommended for funding by the Trail Construction Grants Advisory Committee are ready for construction and would add six miles of trails in the county.
“A design and permit category has been included in the 2021 trail grant program this year, as it allows municipalities to properly assess the needs of a proposed trail project and have a realistic understanding of what is needed. construction costs. They can approach the project with a moderate investment that allows them to develop a manageable strategy for trail implementation, ”said Betty Cass-Schmidt, chair of the Trail Construction Grants Advisory Committee.
She presented the 2021 grant recommendations to county commissioners tonight at their public working session in Morristown.
“Adding the Design and Permits category made perfect sense. Looking through the advisory committee’s recommendations, we find that five of the six projects recommended for this funding category involve cities that are applying for grants for the first time under the Trail Building Grants program. Trail development has taken on new importance since the number of residents who visit our trails, as well as our parks and open spaces, quadrupled after last year’s pandemic, ”said Managing Commissioner Stephen H. Shaw.
If the recommended projects are approved by commissioners next month, Morris County will have spent nearly $ 4.25 million establishing 23.22 miles of trails in just six years since the inception of the grant program. construction of trails in 2016. Funding for trail projects comes from Morris. The County Voter-approved Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, which was established in 1992 and subsequently amended with voter approval in 2002 to create a Historic Preservation Fund.
It was in 2014 that voters approved a ballot question by a 3-to-1 margin to again modify the fund to allow for trail development as a use of part of the trust fund money.
Another new feature of the grant program this year has been the addition of a minor construction category that supports funding for the construction of smaller-scale trail projects that can be implemented without extensive engineering or regulation. No recommendation in this category was made in this round of funding.
County commissioners will vote on whether or not to accept the grant recommendations at their meeting on December 8, 2021.
Projects recommended for funding include:
Purpose of funding: The purpose of the grant program is to provide recreational trail use opportunities that benefit communities and improve the quality of life for residents of Morris County.
Who is eligible: Any of the thirty-nine municipalities in Morris County, New Jersey. Municipalities are limited to one request per funding cycle.
Authorized uses and projects: Design and construction of new trails for motorized and non-motorized uses, and trail improvements, including improved trails to accommodate increased volume and / or compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Funding is only considered if the land on which a trail must be built is:
- Located in Morris County
- Property of the municipality in full and / or via permanent easements
- Public park or private land permanently preserved with dedicated easements for public recreational purposes
- On land with a permanent easement for public / recreational path provided to the municipality
- In full municipal control of all lands and / or easements on which the trails are to be funded
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