Borough, conservancy consider partnership for trail
Mickey Bannon, a Chartiers Nature Conservancy board member, discussed forming the partnership Tuesday during borough council's finance committee meeting.
He said the conservancy has access to private grants that the borough does not. In the past four years, the conservancy has received nearly $1 million in grants.
Bannon said that the credibility of the municipality and the funding of the conservancy together will form a good partnership.
The borough has been looking at other funding options to develop its stretch of the Chartiers Trail. Borough officials are considering applying for a $180,000 grant from PennDOT.
If council receives this grant, the trail must meet PennDOT specifications. Council members say they have received ambiguous and differing information on these specifications.
It is clear that PennDOT requires that there be a parking area at each terminus of the trail.
Council and Bannon agreed to each select a representative that can start a discussion on the proposed partnership.
The eight-mile Chartiers Trail will connect East Carnegie and McKees Rocks.
The conservancy began work on the trail on March 31 by spreading mulch at the East Carnegie trailhead.
The trail will serve as a key link to the regional trail system by connecting with the Pittsburgh trail system at the Ohio River. The Montour Trail and the Panhandle Trail, which stretches to Weirton, W.Va., also will link with the Chartiers Trail.
Allegheny County designated the conservancy as the lead organization to fund and build the trail.