More than $10,000 was raised over the weekend to help pave a trail in Galena.
“We had 38 donors in multiple counties throughout the state, and a few out-of-state donors as well,” said Dave Bender, president of the Delaware County Friends of Trail, during the public comment portion of Delaware County commissioners’ meeting Monday. “People are really interested in seeing this trail get done.”
The nonprofit Friends of the Trail, as well as the village of Galena, have wanted to pave the Galena Brick Trail from Dustin Road to Holmes Street. A Clean Ohio grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would convert the existing railroad bed to a 10-foot-wide paved multi-purpose trail that is part of the state-long Ohio to Erie Trail.
After bidding the project out, it was discovered there was a $17,945 shortfall, in part because of the cost to replace the bridge deck over Little Walnut Creek. Members of the Friends of the Trail and Galena Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell asked county commissioners to make up the shortfall at the meeting last week. Commissioners were told that if the shortfall couldn’t be provided in a timely fashion, the grant would be forfeited and the project would not be completed.
“This trail eventually will connect to the Hoover Scenic Trail and Genoa Trail south of us and the Big Walnut Community Trail to the north in Sunbury that connects to Big Walnut Elementary,” Burrell wrote in an email. “The trails will also link Galena’s neighborhoods with our parks and downtown commercial area.”
In its presentation last week, the Friends of the Trail said a completed Galena Brick Trail would draw more tourism to the county.
Commissioners said last week they would be willing to do a match if more funds were raised by the Friends of the Trail, which the organization was able to do.
“Over the weekend, we set up the Go Fund Me account, and we contacted many folks, and we came up with $10,190,” Bender said. “So our need is down to $7,755.”
“There’s so many people who come and ask for stuff, and they come without really going through the effort to raise what they can,” Commissioner Gary Merrell said to Bender. “I’m extremely impressed with what you guys have done since last Thursday. You listened to us.”
“You guys have done a nice job of pushing this over the goal line,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton. “It’s going to be a nice project for the county. It adds value and will be used a lot.”
Commissioners said they would be willing to make up the $7,755 shortfall from the community enhancement fund once a formal resolution can be drawn up. In addition, the Friends of the Trail said they received a 60-day extension on the bid price from the contractor.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.