Making Marcellus more 'walkable'

More than 40 Marcellus residents gathered at the Marcellus Free Library on Tuesday, Aug. 19 to learn more about a proposed creek walk along Nine Mile Creek.

"Much of the area we are proposing a creek walk is along a rail bed," said Mayor Mike Plochocki. He said the proposition for the nature path would not just connect random point in the community but rather be designed to connect certain areas in the community together -- like the school, the park, the library and the senior centers.

There is a "big push to have walkable communities," Plochocki said. "We have been blessed with having a walkable community all along."

As part of the process to obtain funding from the state to construct the nature trail, the municipality is required to hold public information meetings. James Laird, managing landscape architect with Barton and Loguidice in Syracuse, said the project is really about returning access to the creek and is a long step by step process because they have to work with state and federal funds.

In 2001 the village was awarded a $214,000 transportation enhancement project funding, a grant with an 80/20 split. However, since the time the village received the grant, the cost of putting in the trail has increased and the various layouts could cost between $699,000 and $1.4 million.

The village has also applied for another grant to help reduce the project cost. Plochocki said an application went in in June asking for a total of $810,000, a cost that would be shared between the federal government and the village. The federal funds would equal $648,000 with a matching portion of $162,000 from the municipality.

According to Laird, endpoints for the trails would be the Marcellus High School and Marcellus Park, connecting many locations throughout the village and a small portion of the town.

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