Greene County receives grants to extend Greene River Trail near Rices Landing

October 25, 2016
A tow boat makes its way up the Monongahela River Sunday, as seen from the Greene River Trail near Rices Landing. Greene County has received a $200,000 state grant to extend the trail. - Bob Niedbala/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

RICES LANDING – Greene County Commissioner Blair Zimmerman was jogging on Greene River Trail Monday afternoon when, he said, he received a call informing him the county received a $200,000 state grant to extend the trail another 2.2 miles.

“It was pretty exciting,” he said about the news he received in that call from state Rep. Pam Snyder. “I thought it was very fitting that she should call to tell me that at the same time I was out on the trail for a run.”

The grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will enable the county to complete the first extension of the trail since the last extension was done in 2007.

The trail now runs about 5.1 miles along the banks of the Monongahela River from Greene Cove Yacht Club in Millsboro to the old Crucible Ferry near Crucible. The extension will bring the trail to an area near Jacobs Ferry Road and Stringtown Road.

The commissioners had been attempting to obtain the property to extend the trail for about eight years and accomplished the acquisition in June at a cost of $32,000. The engineering design of the extension already is completed and the grant money will be used for construction, county recreation director Jake Blaker said.

“We are going to start clearing and grubbing this fall,” Blaker said. “The timeline is to finish in the spring, if everything goes as planned.”

The new section of trail borders the river.

“It’s a beautiful area,” Zimmerman said. “It’s going to be nice for people who bike, and for people who run, who like the extra length.”

With the completion of the extension, the trail will stretch more than 7 miles. Zimmerman thanked Snyder, D-Jefferson, and state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll Township, for their assistance in obtaining the grant.

Two other grants from the Commonwealth Finance Authority also were announced Monday.

Rices Landing Borough will receive a $50,000 grant to dredge the area of the Pumpkin Run Boat launch. The borough has been unable to install its public docks because of significant silting in Pumpkin Run.

Washington Township received a $15,180 grant under the sewage facilities program to complete an Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan to address malfunctioning on-lot septic systems in the area around the Interstate 79 interchange at Ruff Creek.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is an independent agency created to administer a variety of the state’s funding programs designed to help grow the economy, create jobs and improve cultural and recreational resources. Funding for the projects comes from Act 13 Marcellus Shale impact fees.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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