Planning for Mohansic Trailway Continues in Yorktown

The Mohansic Trailway route follows the town-owned abandoned railroad spur from Route 118 opposite Downing Drive to Baldwin Road near French Hill School. Credits:

Editor's Note: This article has been updated. The original version indicated that Mark Linehan proposed the idea of using highway department employees to work on the trail. He did not. We regret the error.

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The Yorktown Trail Town Committee’s plan to connect FDR Park’s existing trails to the community’s business district with a new trail continue to develop, bolstered by the $12,500 matching donation granted to the project in October.

It was announced last month that the 2016 Greenway Conservancy Trail Grant Program donated $12,500 toward the project. Mark Linehan, co-chair of the committee, who proposed the Mohansic Trailway Connection project in May, said that $12,500 plus the $7,500 the town received from a grant last year, puts the project within reach of the estimated $27,750 cost of the materials.

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Now that funding has been obtained, the conversation at the Nov. 22 town board work session shifted to refining the legality of the plans and the cost and coordination of the construction of the 600 feet of boardwalk and three bridges the project proposes.

“The discussion is not so much about who does what, as making sure all the legal details are handled properly,” Linehan said.

In regard to planning, Linehan said the committee recently submitted formal engineering plans to the town engineer and is awaiting his approval for the appropriate permits to begin building. At the work session, the town board still had concerns about who will actually execute of the project.

When the subject was last visited in August, Linehan said the total cost of the project after materials will be about $48,600. That includes the $27,750 for the materials and the administrative and labor costs involved with acquiring permits and the value of time put in by the town’s planning staff.

Previously, Linehan proposed that volunteer hours put in by Yorktown Trail Town Committee members and community Boy Scout troops could save the town in labor costs. Both Town Supervisor Michael Grace and Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said this could create an issue with union workers who would not appreciate volunteers doing union work free of charge.

“They don’t want their work being taken away by volunteers,” Grace said. “That’s taboo.”

The board referred the committee to the town attorney to comb through the remaining legal challenges. Linehan said that with winter approaching, it is likely that construction will not begin until spring.

At previous sessions, the board had concerns over a fiber-optic AT&T cable that the proposed trail will go over. Michael McDermott, town attorney, said he could not comment on whether those issues have been settled at this time.

“The project is still under review by the town to determine how it can get done,” he said.

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