Even while the county was shut down for the coronavirus, work has continued in the development of the Marsh Creek Greenway to connect the Pine Creek Rail Trail to Wellsboro.
At the May 12 meeting, Tioga County Commissioners approved several actions to further development of the 3.2-mile trail. If successful, the grant applications will secure the needed funding to complete the trail by late 2024.
Commissioners adopted a resolution to apply for a $140,000 Community Recreation and Conservation Planning Grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. If successful, this grant would be for developing a site plan for the Patterson Trailhead behind Charleston Street, as well as study the connector to Wellsboro’s downtown.
The county adopted a resolution to perform a special warranty deed when conveying the Patterson Lumber Co. property to the county. That will allow the sale of the property without paying a transfer tax.
The board also approved the purchase of that property for $294,738.67. Funding for the purchase comes from grants, the Patterson Foundation and the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health.
This parcel will serve as the trailhead. The property will be maintained as is until funds are secured to develop the site, said Marc Rice, who serves on the county trail advisory board.
Commissioners approved a cooperative agreement with Lycoming and Clinton counties and SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority. The three counties will submit a joint application to the 2020 Build Program to seek funding for projects in each county. Tioga County’s request is for $8.5 million for the Marsh Creek Greenway and reconstruction of the Charleston Street bridge.
The county unsuccessfully applied for this funding in the past, but was told that a regional initiative would be more competitive. It made sense to partner since the Pine Creek Rail Trail connects the three counties, said Rice.
Finally, the board approved an agreement with Larson Design Group to dismantle, load and provide temporary storage for the Howellville Bridge. The bridge, which is located in Chester County, will be used on the Greenway to span Marsh Creek at the Hilboldt Road. Once dismantled, the historic bridge will be refurbished. Deconstruction is expected to start June 1.
It and another historic bridge from Athens will be attractions on the trail for visitors that the Greenway and Rail Trail will bring to the area, said commissioners.
The cost of this project is $7,400. Funding is from the Act 13 impact fee.