The Township is one large step closer toward extending its popular bicycle path after the winners of latest round of competitive Open Space Grants were anounced Friday.
Wall was one of 13 municipalities awarded a portion of the $2.6 million Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund grants, announced by the Monmouth County Freeholders on Friday.
Township officials had put together a pitch to receive enough money to extend the Edgar Felix Bike Path, which runs from Manasquan to Allaire State Park.
Kate Khori, assistant township administrator, has said the town put together an application for $180,000 – enough to match a grant previously awarded to the town by the state Department of Transportation. Together, the two grants would have paid for the completion of the bike path, Khori said.
Wall will receive $157,000 from the competitive grant award process, leaving the township to come up with $23,000 from the original price.
Where that money would come from was unclear Friday afternoon. A call to Khori was not immediately returned.
Numerous towns throughout the county attempt for the grants each year. This is the ninth year of the program.
“It is a highly competitive process,’’ Kohri has said. “But we’ve had success with this grant in the past.’’
Wall has been awarded this same grant in the past, most recently t, near the soccer fields.
The bike path project proposes to add nearly another mile to the town’s 7.2-mile path system. The main path, the Edgar Felix path – is more than five miles beginning at and runs west along Atlantic Avenue, through the Allenwood section of town and finally to Allaire.
There is another roughly 1.8-mile stretch, completed in 2005, that runs from behind and heading south until it meets up with the Edgar Felix path.
The extension is a two-phased project that would extend the path where it meets Hospital Road, bringing it into Allaire State Park at a different entrance where it would meet up with Allaire’s own trail system. A fourth phase would extend the path along Hospital road to the boundary with Howell, Kohri has said.
The proposed extension is about 8/10 of a mile, and would bring the path system to roughly eight miles, all told, Kohri has said.
“They (the county) has been very generous in the past,’’ Kohri has said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.’’
The path system is one of the most used recreational facilities in town, according to a recent survey placed in residents’ water bills, Kohri has said. Of those who responded the bike path was “by far’’ the most popular of the recreational facilities in town.
“With this round of municipal open space grants we have now funded $20,234,000 of park and open space projects in our communities,” Freeholder Director Robert D. Clifton said in a release. “Sharing the cost of municipal projects supports and improves the quality of life in all of our communities.”
Since the inception of the county’s Municipal Open Space Grant program in 2003, 43 towns have successfully applied and received funding for 126 individual projects. With the inclusion of the 2011 matching grants, a total of $20,234,000 has been awarded to date, the release said.