Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ligonier Valley Trail News In Latrobe Bulletin

The Latrobe Bulletin published a Page One article on March 10, 2010. With permission of the Editor, we are reproducing it here. Ligonier Twp. Rec Board eyes spring start for rails-to-trails
By Jennifer Sopko
The Bulletin
Rose Stepnick and Sharon Detar left the Ligonier Township Supervisors meeting Tuesday night grinning and enthusiastic about springtime possibilities.

As president of and project manager for the Ligonier Township Recreation Board, respectively, Detar and Stepnick have spearheaded the board's work with the Ligonier Valley Trail System (LVTS), an extended hiking and biking trail, with little noticeable progress until now.

"We've been working really hard with nothing to show for it for a really long time," Stepnick said following the meeting. She was pleased that the supervisors took action on two resolutions she hopes will be catalysts for progress with the trail network.

The supervisors approved bids for the materials and labor involved in surfacing a portion of the former Ligonier Valley Rail Road rail bed stretching from
Mill Creek behind Weller Field to Peoples Road ‹ Phase One of the LVTS, also known as a rails-to-trails project. The low bids accepted were $8,480 from Supancic Excavating Inc for labor and construction, and $8,350 from Ligonier Construction Co. for limestone. Stepnick said she hoped to get on the companies' work lists for this spring.

The LVTS also will benefit from a donation of property to the township from a north Ligonier Township couple. Bernard and Sandra Harr have donated a 310- by 100-foot parcel of land adjacent to the rail bed near Peoples Road, with the stipulation that the township dedicate the land for recreational purposes.
The board of supervisors approved a resolution empowering the officers to take the necessary steps to accept the donation. Township solicitor Judith Ciszek said that the board would consider the property as a possible trailhead parking area given its close proximity to the trail and that the supervisors would be able to create a deed with the original owners' input and adjust the language if desired.

Stepnick and Detar both spoke after the meeting about the scope of the LVTS and the time and effort the recreation board and community has invested into it so far.
Over the past three years, the recreation board has organized repairs and cleanup of the rails-to-trails area, including the installation of drainpipes. Detar explained that after consulting with other trail-building initiatives, farming organizations and a local organic farm, the recreation board has decided to install landscape fabric over the rail bed before grading and surfacing the trail as a more organic and stable alternative to using vegetation control spray on the area.

"We tried to go with the best price, be good neighbors, and hopefully have a trail that's going to be low maintenance." Stepnick summarized.

The recreation board's other ongoing projects with the LVTS are the acquisition of
recycled materials for a bridge that will extend the trail over Mill Creek and the pursuit of grants and other means of financial support for a feasibility study of Phase Two of the project. This next phase will involve potential extensions of the trail through and beyond the Ligonier Valley.

The supervisors briefly discussed a few additional items on Tuesday night, including their appointment of Ron Dorazio, former Ligonier Township police chief, as assistant emergency management coordinator for the township.
They also announced two upcoming events: A public hearing regarding an application by Festival Fun Parks for a cell tower on Clark Hollow Road, to be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, at the township municipal building, and the annual Dumpster Day, scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 2, at the recycling center on Old Route 30 West.

As seen on Page One of the Latrobe Bulletin, March 10, 2010. Continued on Page 3.

Thanks for the research done by Jennifer Sopko for a more complete article.
Thanks to Editor Steve Kittey for allowing us to share this news.

Photos by R. Stepnick.

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