Chelsea Announces Grant from DNR





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By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

Last week Major Melissa Johnson announced that the city of Chelsea received a $130,700 grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help with the next phase of the Letts Creek Linear Park Project.

The Letts Creek project will tie in with the regional Border-to-Border (B2B) trail that plans to have 22 miles of non-motorized trails running through Washtenaw County and continues to see progress.

In May, the Huron Waterloo Pathway Initiative (HWPI), DNR, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Washtenaw County Park and Recreation Commission unveiled a new 2.6-mile segment of the trail that will begin in Chelsea and head to Stockbridge.

Johnson was able to speak with Jeff Hardcastle, Chair of the HWPI, about potential funding sources for trails in the community.  The HWPI has been fundraising for the B2B trail for the last couple of years and along with the recent trail unveiling last month, they are on schedule to begin two or three other trail segments within this next year. With the trail segments being on time that means funding for the projects has been successful, too.

“We’re right on schedule with the private match (for the trail),” said Hardcastle. “Because in the county we also passed a millage a year and a half ago that’s putting $6 million dollars into non-motorized pathways. We’re going be able to provide funding support to Chelsea, Stockbridge, and Dexter for their inner-city connections as well as providing significant portions of locally matched funds for the corridors in between the cities and towns.

Although the grant is for a section of trail for the Letts Creek project that is awaiting final approval, the funding on the other end of the spectrum is secure. It will be up to Chelsea to decide where they want to connect to the trail.

“We’re not the party that decides where they have to connect to the regional system,” said Hardcastle.  “We stay out of the city and village decisions other than providing financial support. As long as they’re connecting to the B2B trail and helping the regional system get done we’ll be able to help them financially.”

 

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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