City seeks grant for rail trail stair­case and mini park

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS - By wil­liam j. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

The Com­mon Coun­cil has acted to seek $40,000 from Hud­son River Val­ley Green­way for con­struc­tion of a stair­way to con­nect the Kingston Point Rail Trail to street level where a tun­nel passes un­der the in­ter­sec­tion of Delaware and Has­brouck av­enues.

The fund­ing re­quest was ap­proved dur­ing a meet­ing ear­lier this week and comes fol­low­ing a cau­cus at which city law­mak­ers were told the trail ac­cess would be on the south west side of the tun­nel.

“We have (Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Block Grant) funds al­ready ded­i­cated to re­pair­ing side­walks at that node,” city grants man­ager Kris­ten Wil­son said.

“It’s ba­si­cally a lo­ca­tion along the rail trail where there would be benches, some sort of ed­u­ca­tion, a trail head sign,” she said. “It’s ba­si­cally a way to en­ter the rail trail.” The 35-foot­tall stair­case will re­duce the length that trail users have to get out of the sec­tion that runs a com­bined 1,000 feet for the tun­nel and ad­ja­cent ravine. They said the near­est exit off the trail is about 450 feet to the west of the tun­nel or 400 feet to the east of the tun­nel.

Wil­son said there would need to be a $10,000 match by the city if it is awarded a Green­way grant, but the funds would come from the pre­vi­ous block grant.

In the ap­pli­ca­tion, of­fi­cials wrote that the stairs would be part of a small park that in­cludes pic­nic ta­bles, light­ing, and a park­ing area. The project has a $103,664 bud­get. “It will be a pocket park in a neigh­bor­hood where the near­est park is (0.75 miles) or far­ther away on chal­leng­ing ter­rain or through dan­ger­ous in­fra­struc­ture (that is) not a walk­a­ble dis­tance for chil­dren, the elderly or peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties,” of­fi­cials wrote. Wil­son said that, ul­ti­mately, there would be ef­forts to fund a sec­ond small park on the east side of the tun­nel.

“On the other side of the tun­nel, there is a plan for an am­phithe­ater,” she said. “For this par­tic­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tion, there wasn’t enough money to ap­ply for it.”

The rail trail is pro­posed to be 1.5 miles long us­ing the former Ul­ster & Delaware tracks be­tween Mid­town and the Ron­d­out. In the ap­pli­ca­tion for Green­way fund­ing, of­fi­cials said they would like to have the trail be­come part of en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion ef­forts.

“The city would like to in­cor­po­rate per­ma­cul­ture prin­ci­ples in the de­sign in or­der to in­cor­po­rate ed­i­bles into the veg­e­ta­tion,” they wrote. “In the fu­ture, at sev­eral of the trail nodes, the city would like to in­cor­po­rate ... a com­mu­nity or­chard into the (Kingston Point Rail Trail) lin­ear park sys­tem.”

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