BELMONT — Town Land Technician Rick Ball said yesterday that the Selectboard has agreed to pay a 20-percent share ($17,007) of the $85,036 shortfall in funding for construction of the phase 1 of theWinnisquam Scenic Trail.
The recreation trail, which will run primarily along side the railroad tracks from the Agway store on Rte 3 to the Roberts' Town Beach was projected by engineers to cost $726,278. The lowest construction bid, however, was $825,290 and came from general contractor Nelson Communications Service, Inc. of Center Conway.
Ball said yesterday that he has requested that 80 percent of the shortfall ($68,029) come from the N.H. Department of Transportation, which manages the Transportation Enhancement Program grant fund.
Ball said the DOT representative who manages the Transportation Enhancement Grant program told him there were a few more hoops to jump through before the state provides the balance of the money needed to properly complete the project.
"It seemed to me that it was procedural but I can't say for sure," said Ball yesterday.
The cost of the project includes about $100,000 for on-site engineering and about $725,000 for actual construction costs.
The trail has been 12 years in the making and is part of the scenic corridor railway trail system. A separate not-for-profit group called the Belmont Regional Alternative Trail System raised money for years, initially starting with two phases. As construction costs rose, the town shifted its focus to Phase I and was given approval to go out to bid in August.
Ball said there is a three-month construction time allotment and Nelson Communications is ready to go. He said there is a possibility that the trail may not be paved this year because of the delay but hopes the bulk of the construction can be finished by the first snow fall.
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