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$16K approved for safety path engineering

by CJ Carnacchio

August 15, 2012

An expenditure of up to $16,000 for engineering fees related to two proposed safety paths was approved last week by the Oxford Township Board.

Officials authorized spending an amount not to exceed $11,000 for engineering work related to constructing a safety path along the north side of Seymour Lake Rd. between Fountain View Lane and Waterstone Drive.

They also approved spending up to $5,000 on engineering for a new safety path along the north side of E. Drahner Rd. between M-24 and Oxford Lakes Drive.

Treasurer Joe Ferrari, who chairs the safety path committee, indicated the "eventual goal" is to install safety paths along Seymour Lake Rd. in order to give pedestrians easy access to Seymour Lake Township Park.

"This is a good start for that," he said. "We've got to start slowly and kind of work our way up to it."

As for the E. Drahner Rd. path, Ferrari said "that will connect the people from (the) Oxford Lakes (subdivision), so they can ride their bikes all the way down Drahner Rd."

According to township engineer Jim Sharpe, the E. Drahner Rd. path will be about 350 lineal feet, while the Seymour Lake Rd. path which will actually consist of two segments connecting existing paths will measure approximately 1,200 feet in length.

Last month, the township board voted to allocate $200,000 in surplus funds from the 2011 fiscal year to its safety path fund. Ferrari was unsure if that would be enough to construct these two paths.

"Paying for the engineering part, yes; the construction part, I do not know," he said. "It kind of depends on how the bids come back."

Sharpe estimated the Seymour Lake Rd. path could cost approximately $250,000, while the E. Drahner Rd. path could run about $60,000.

Both of those estimates are project totals that include engineering costs, construction costs, funds to obtain easements and other associated fees.

Sharpe noted that most, not all, of the necessary easements have been obtained.

In the past, the township has used a mix of municipal funds and grants to construct new paths. But it doesn't appear as though that will happen this time.

"I don't think anything's available right now (in terms of grant money)," Ferrari said. "I'm not saying things aren't going to come up. Remember, there's different (federal economic) stimulus stuff being talked about. But right now, there'd be nothing available, at least for those two projects."