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Name proposed for Carrollton bike path

By Carmen Ensinger

Carrollton Mayor Mike Snyder has proposed a name for the new one-mile bike path that will be constructed along the defunct railroad line which will connect the city’s three parks – the Francis “Gene” Baker Memorial Trail.
“Gene served three terms as mayor and he was passionate about his job and this city,” Snyder said. “I remember when they took out those railroad tracks – it was Gene who first came up with the idea of making that area into a bike or walking path. I think he would be so proud to see his dream finally becoming a reality and I think naming it after him would give him the honor he deserves.”
The city learned back in June that their application for a nearly $500,000 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant had been approved.
The grant is to construct a one-mile, 10-foot-wide asphalt path beginning at Fry Park, connect to the South Diamond across from the funeral home, continue across Rt. 67, loop around, cross over Rt. 108 and end at the West Ball Park. The path will be ADA accessible and have ADA parking along the route.
Originally, the bike path was going to cost the city around $102,000 – their portion of the 80/20 matching grant. However, extra money came down at the state level, which Benton and Associate Representative Jaime Headen explained to the counsel back in June.
“It turns out that the Illinois Department of Transportation ended up awarding some communities portions of their local match as well as their grant funding,” Headen said. “So, in Carrollton’s case, they got 50 percent of their local match taken care of by IDOT and that is why they received the $465,000 instead of the $413, 000 which is great.”
Carrollton would later on receive an additional $99,000 grant from the USDA to take care of the remainder of the project bringing the total project funding to $565,000.

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