Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019

 Letters of Intent Due  on June 28 for 2019 Grants

 Nearly $1.4 million in 2019 grants for trails construction projects will be available to Morris County’s 39 municipalities through the 2019 Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program, which is beginning its fourth annual application process.

Stobaeous Trail in Florham Park

Stobaeous Trail in Florham Park

Letters of intent from interested towns are due by June 28 and formal applications are due by July 31. Grant awards are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

A 2019 program update is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 11 a.m. to 12 noon at the Morris County Cultural Center, 300 Mendham Road, Morris Township.

Grants are awarded for qualified projects from the county’s 39 towns to build new trails, thereby enhancing recreational opportunities for county residents.

The Board of Freeholders in 2018 approved awards of $798,000 for projects in Florham Park, Long Hill, Hanover, Madison, Mt. Arlington, and Washington Township.

“Trails that are built across Morris County, and which are financed with the help of these county grants, makes our vast open spaces accessible to all residents, improving our quality of life,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

Muriel Hepner Park trail in Denville

Muriel Hepner Park trail in Denville

Funding comes from a portion of the county’s existing voter-approved Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, which will generate just over $8 million this year through a tax of 3/4ths of one cent per $100 of assessed property value.

The program operates on a reimbursement basis only. Municipal applicants are limited to one request per funding cycle. The program requires municipalities to provide planning and design of trail projects and to contribute a 20 percent match for the trail construction projects.

Permissible Uses and Projects, include:

  • Construction of new trails of various types (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Enhancement of existing trails (improvements to design and/or surface type to accommodate increased use or to make the trail ADA compliant)

Various aspects of project development are not eligible for funding as part of this grant program. They include, but are not limited to the following: land condemnation, land acquisition, sidewalks, improvements or construction to roads, lighting, running tracks (tracks used for races involving athletes at track meets), law enforcement personnel and activities, promotional materials (shirts, caps, pins, etc…)

Bayne Park/Kirby Municipal Campus trail in Harding

Bayne Park/Kirby Municipal Campus trail in Harding

Funding only will be considered if the land on which a trail is to be constructed is:

  • Located in Morris County
  • Owned by the municipality
  • Permanent preserved public parkland or private land with dedicated easements for public recreation use
  • On land with a permanent easement for public trail/recreational provided to the municipality
  • In full municipal control of all land and/or easements on which trail(s) are to be funded

The minimum grant amount is $5,000. The maximum grant award limit is defined as “no one award shall receive more than 60 percent of the funds available during each year’s funding cycle.” However, this exception can be waived if a project is deemed to be a regionally significant project.

For more information about the program, visit:  http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/divisions/prestrust/trail/