Great Outdoors Colorado awarded the Town of Elizabeth a $596,631 grant to help with the design and construction of a network of trails throughout the town.
The grant, awarded on June 24, was the second major funding hurdle cleared by the town to …
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The grant, awarded on June 24, was the second major funding hurdle cleared by the town to begin work on a planned 4.5-mile trail network connecting schools, recreation areas and the public library.
The trail system will include a 10-foot-wide hard surface and an adjacent equestrian path. The trail will also include directional, interpretive and educational signs; lights; and water features.
“We're excited,” said Town Administrator Dick Eason. “This is new territory for us in a couple of respects. First of all, we don't have any paths existing, but it's also a first for us in resources history where we are using one grant to match another.”
The GOCO grant serves as matching funds to a $700,000 grant awarded to the town last fall by the Colorado Department of Transportation as part of a program to assist local governments with alternative transportation projects. The CDOT grant in turn serves as the matching funds for the GOCO grant, combining for a total of just under $1.3 million.
The town submitted its GOCO grant application in mid-February, after the project's conceptual plan received a favorable review by GOCO in November, and Eason met with CDOT on July 1 to review grant details and discuss the preliminary steps the town needs to take before construction on the trails can begin.
Both the CDOT and the GOCO grants are reimbursable, and according to Eason, the town has the funds to proceed, but it will need to amend its budget to allocate the money for the project and to account for the reimbursements.
Eason expects the administrative process to take a couple of months, and once the work on easements and engineering is completed work can begin, possibly by next summer.
“This is essentially a three-year project,” Eason said, “so I wouldn't expect for a lot to happen this year. There will be some behind-the-scenes stuff, but I wouldn't expect to see anything visually until next year.”
GOCO, created by voters in 1992, allocates up to 50 percent of the state's earnings from Colorado Lottery ticket sales to provide local governments money for the conservation of open spaces or for the construction of parks and trails.
The CDOT Transportation Alternative Program was developed to facilitate alternative transportation projects that include recreational trails, safe routes to schools, and support of improvements to existing roadways to provide safe routes for non-drivers.
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