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What you need to know for 08/19/2017

Stillwater trail project picked to vie for state grant

Stillwater trail project picked to vie for state grant

A trail project in Stillwater has been identified by the Capital Region Economic Development Council

A trail project in Stillwater has been identified by the Capital Region Economic Development Council as a priority for the latest round of funding requests in the statewide competition.

The town of Stillwater is looking to develop two miles of multi-use trail as part of the envisioned 71-mile Champlain Canal Trail. The project has an estimated cost of about $484,000, with the council requesting $450,000 in state funds, according to its progress report.

This funding would triple the town’s existing one mile of trail, said Stillwater town Supervisor Ed Kinowski.

A trail feasibility study was completed last year for the town that developed a plan of action for creating a truly walkable community. State funding would allow the town to move past the planning stage, with the town finally able to start construction, said Kinowski.

Stillwater’s trails would become more connected with surrounding trails if the project is accomplished, according to the report. The impacted areas would include the southern Stillwater neighborhoods of Riverside, Stillwater Junction and East Saratoga Junction.

“This project will encourage partnerships with other trail organizations along the Champlain Canal Trail,” reads the report.

Maria Trabka, executive director of Saratoga PLAN, one of the organizations working on the Champlain Canal Trail, said the funding would allow Stillwater to connect its portion of the trail to Mechanicville’s.

“Mechanicville is working on a shoulder connection through the city of Mechanicville … to connect to the Zim Smith Trail in Halfmoon,” she added.

Developing the trail is important, Trabka said, because it can be used for recreation, tourism and transportation. When people want to travel along the Hudson, she said, “[This trail] will be a people-powered way to get there, plus it is beautiful.”

The progress report adds, “This project will also strengthen the public amenities identified in the community that are necessary to support new popular growth related to employment opportunities at GlobalFoundries. This will help attract and retain talent to the region.”

The priority designation does not guarantee funding for the project, but it means it will have a chance to compete.

Completing this project would still mean the Champlain Canal Trail is a long way from being completed, said Trabka, who noted positive steps being taken in Halfmoon, Waterford and Saratoga to develop their portions of the trail.

“There are some sections built already, some under construction and others just planned,” she said. “Without this potential funding, Stillwater’s section is just planned.”

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