The money was released by the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) as part of its Trail Grant program. Statewide, $1.54 million in grants is being distributed under the program this year.
Town Planner Caroline Wells said the money will be used to install two “wayfinding” signs that steer visitors to businesses and restaurants, as well as historic and cultural sights. In addition, there will be two small directional signs, two bike shelters, 10 benches, six picnic tables, and as many as 30 new gravel parking spaces along the path near Cole Street. However, Ms. Wells said, the exact layout and configuration of the parking spots has yet to be set in stone.
The grant is a good opportunity to direct path users local businesses, Ms. Wells said.
“I mapped about 20 restaurants within walking distance to the Child Street (bike path) hub,” she said.
The grant requires a 20 percent local match, meaning the town must put up $12,500 on its own. But Ms. Wells said some of that local match includes volunteer labor.
“Once we have the contracts signed I will put the word out for volunteers,” she said.
The flip side of the grant request is the state’s denial of a grant request for the Warren River Walk. Apart from the bike path money, Ms. Wells had asked for $100,000 to install signs and other features along public rights of way down to the Warren River.