By Rob Juteau, GateHouse News Service, link to original post with photo
The village of Dolgeville is putting grant moneys it received from Herkimer County HealthNet to use by developing a section of the long-planned Salisbury-Dolgeville Greenway. The village is using the $11,950 it received earlier this summer to create a bicycle and pedestrian trail along a section of the former railroad tracks that runs from Main Street to Spencer Street.
“The idea behind this project is to encourage people to be active and exercise,” village Trustee Larry Brandow said Monday evening. “There are a lot of people in the village who walk or jog, and once this trail is completed, they will have a place where they can go and safely do it.”
The funds came from a New York State Department of Health Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play grant, an initiative that focuses on the prevention of obesity and Type 2 diabetes through projects and messages that aim to increase good nutrition and physical activity. “The trail is going to be a safe and secure place where people can get out and walk, jog or ride their bicycle,” village Department of Public Works Superintendent John Houle said Monday evening. “In winter, the trail will be open to snowmobiles. Four-wheelers and motor bikes are not allowed.”
To prevent all-terrain vehicles and motor bikes from accessing the greenway, Houle said gates similar to those found at the start of the trail near the Herkimer Home State Historic Site in the town of Danube will be installed at its entrance points at Main and Spencer streets. The gates, he said, will be adjusted so nothing larger than a bicycle or stroller can fit between them. “It’s going to be a nice little area for people to go to when everything is finished,” said Houle, adding he would like to see the section from Main Street to Spencer Street completed this year. “It’s a five-year plan and we hope to complete a section a year. It’s something we want to keep up on.”
Spencer Street resident George DeLuco lives adjacent to the Salisbury-Dolgeville Greenway and said he and his wife, Susan, have noticed an increase in ATV traffic in the area since the work began.
He also said they have noticed a loss of wildlife, including birds, deer and rabbits. “I’m concerned we’re going to lose our property, so to speak,” DeLuco said Monday evening as he addressed the mayor and village board of trustees. “We take pride in our home and make it environmentally sound … I want to be assured the trail won’t become a racetrack.”
“There will be gates and signs, but as with everything enforcement will be the key,” said Houle. “So will maintenance. Once it’s finished it’s something the village is going to have to take care of.”
“I believe it will be a welcome addition to our village,” Brandow of the greenway. “I also believe it will be well received by the community. I know we will see people out there walking on it when it’s done.”