The Fenton City Council has paved the way for the city manager to apply for a grant aimed at contributing to the cost of the proposed trail system. It voted unanimously Monday, Feb. 10 to authorize the grant application.

 The city has been working with a group of other munici-

palities, Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation and the LAFF Pathway group to make the trail system a reality. 

 “The system will likely be constructed in phases and paying for the construction will include grant funding,” said City Manager Lynn Markland in a memo to the council. “Some of the grant funding that is available requires an Act 51 road agency to be the applicant. This particular grant is from the MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). Since we are an Act 51 road agency, the city of Fenton has been requested to be the grant applicant.”

 The grant would be for $997,000 and that matching funds would be provided by private funding and additional grants as stated in the resolution, Markland said.

 Citizens in the three municipalities that make up SLPR were asked to amend the SLPR charter to include a levy and collection of 1.2 mills for 10 years, from 2019 to 2028, to provide funds for non-motorized recreational paths and facilities in Fenton, Fenton Township and Linden. The millage was expected to raise just over $1.4 million in the first year. The estimated cost of the pathways is almost $14 million.

 The May 2019 vote failed with 2,875 citizens voting no and 1,585 voting yes. After the vote, organizers vowed to continue seeking ways to fund the non-motorized trail project.

 “This project is an economic development project as well as a quality of life project,” Markland said in his memo. “Many individuals and families travel to areas to use bike pathways/trails and the usage of the pathway/trail generates commerce. The residents in the community that use the pathway/trail will have an improved quality of life.”

 If the grant is awarded, the applicant (city of Fenton) commits its local match and donated amounts from the cities of Fenton and Linden, Fenton Township and SLPR in the amount of $15,000 each. LAFF Pathways will be committed to contributing $48,000. Just over a million dollars is expected to come from private funding and additional grants.

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