SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Salisbury Township is moving ahead with preparing for a new perimeter trail at Lindberg Park, even though the matching half of the $300,000 project has not been secured.
The perimeter trail is included in Phase One of the Lindberg Park Master Plan prepared by the Salisbury Township Recreation Commission, with the assistance of township consultant, Urban Research & Development Corp. and approved by the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners.
The township received a $160,400 Lehigh County Green Future Fund grant and has applied for a matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Salisbury Township Manager Randy Soriano expects to be notified of the acceptance or rejection of the township DCNR grant in October.
However, Soriano wants to make sure the project is "shovel-ready" by the first quarter of 2014 when work on the trail could begin. Requests for bids are expected to be put out in December.
Soriano told commissioners at the June 13 township meeting that he spoke with Lehigh County officials about the Lindberg trail and doesn't want anything to jeopardize the project.
"They would like to see some sort of movement on that trail," Soriano said. "If there is a change in thinking, there might be a reallocation of that money."
"I think it behooves us to move ahead," Soriano said. "We don't want to really lose that," Soriano said of the county grant.
Approval of Green Future Fund grants was delayed for Salisbury and other county municipalities by county commissioners even though the funds were already in the county budget.
Commissioner Debra Brinton, Soriano and other municipal officials attended county commissioner meetings to urge disbursement of the funding.
Commissioner Vice President Robert Martucci Jr. made the motion, with Brinton seconding the motion to vote on paying $53,000 to URDC for Lindberg trail design and engineering work.
"They have done some preliminary sketch work," Soriano said of URDC.
Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, to approve the URDC trail work contract.
Soriano said township Recreation Commission members discussed URDC moving ahead with the trail preparation work and agreed it should be undertaken.
Salisbury Township Recreation Commission Chairperson Frank Adamcik spoke in favor of URDC undertaking the design and engineering work.
"The recreation commission strongly recommends approval of the engineering by URDC. I think we should strongly back the administration," Adamcik said.
Soriano said the township is applying for other funding "as sort of a safeguard if we don't get DCNR" funding.
The township administration will also apply for a planning grant for Laubach Park.
The URDC grant work will include portions of Phase Two and Three, in addition to Phase One, for the Lindberg trail.
Phase Two includes fencing and wildlife buffers. Phase Three includes baseball field improvements, a storage shed and batting cages, the latter of which the Hamilton Park Athletic Association has already undertaken.
"Thanks a lot," said Francis J. McCullough, recreation commission member, following the vote. "Do you realize all that we went through to get this?" McCullough asked.
The master plan was unveiled at a Sept. 17, 2012, public hearing. The master plan committee, including recreation commission members, began meeting in May, 2012.
The three-quarter mile 8-foot-wide walking and bikeway trail in Lindberg is intended to connect with Lehigh Parkway, Allentown.
The 10-phase master plan for the 20-acre Lindberg Park could cost from $1 million to $2 million and take 10 to 20 years to complete.