After hearing several comments in favor of the project, Oakland Township Board members agreed to apply for a grant to create a new trail on Adams Road.
If funding is secured, the 3/4-mile stretch of asphalt would connect the Polly Ann Trail with the Paint Creek Trail. The plan also would include new fishing access to Paint Creek.
“I would be a user of this proposed trail,” said Reed Shupe, 40, of Oakland Township at Tuesday’s special meeting. “I bicycle on Paint Creek Trail, and this would be a good connector. This trail would definitely be an improvement to the situation.”
The total cost of the project would be $1.87 million with $772,500 funded by the township and the rest paid for by two separate grants.
On Tuesday, the Board agreed to apply for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust grant. The other grant would be through the Michigan Department of Transportation Enhancement Program.
Part of the reason for creating the trail would be to ensure safety for bicyclists and pedestrians along Adams Road with the trail ending at Delta Kelly Elementary School.
“I’d like to speak for the kids,” said Ron Zeilinger, 75, who lives on Shannon Drive. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for the Delta Kelly kids to go to school. For the kids, we ought to do this.”
Some residents voiced concerns about a lack of parking for the fishing access, but Mindy Milos-Dale, Parks and Trails Planner, said the intent of the trail is to attract people walking or cycling from short distances. In addition, she said Adams Road has enough traffic to deter vandals or loitering, which was another concern.
“I think that this is really a needed project,” Milos-Dale said. “Every time I’m out there, we see children riding bikes or walking in the roadway.”
The grant would be awarded at the end of the year, so construction on the project would not begin any sooner than the summer of 2012.
Trustees Michael Bailey, Kathrine Thomas, Joan Fogler, Sharon McKay and Marc Edwards voted in favor of the application. Judy Workings voted against the project and Sharon Creps was absent.
The project is part of the Township Trail and Path Master Plan, which was approved by the voters in 2006, providing a small millage to pay for pathways.