Rail Trail improvements ongoing

An under construction pavilion along the Rail Trial near Price Chopper is shown on Thursday. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE — Progress is being made on improvements to the city’s Rail Trail.

Construction has been ongoing on new pavilions and installation of benches among many changes to the trail.

The city has funds at its disposal from 1997 grant from the state Department of Transportation that is available exclusively for its use on the Rail Trail. The funds are earmarked by the state only for Rail Trail improvements.

The money was left over from when the trail was created 20 years ago. The federal government contacted the county to alert them to the money and to let officials know the money needed to be used by Sept. 1.

The grant was for $64,000 with a 20 percent matching amount by the city, meaning the city will pay $15,700 in matching funds. The entire project is estimated to cost $80,000.

The city moved $16,000 from the city’s contingency account to the DPW contracts account for the project.

Fulton County Board of Supervisors approved Gloversville using the grant funds for this project.

For the project, the city will be installing 20 fitness stations, a covered pavilion, 15 benches, garbage cans, six historical signs, picnic tables, a water fountain, five bike racks, wildlife education plaques and an informational pavilion about the FJ & G Railroad.

Many of the items have already been installed, new benches have been placed, including near Darling Field. Some of those still have cinderblocks under them as installation continues, and they are blocked off with caution tape.

The green bike racks have already been installed.

One of the two pavilions is under construction near 11th Avenue by Kingsboro Avenue. The other is being installed by Harrison Street.

A monarch butterfly pollinator garden was also installed by a private citizen along with the improvements.

Arlene Whittingham addressed the Common Council during Tuesday’s meeting to announce that thing have been going well with the Rail Trail butterfly garden.

Whittingham said when she sent a letter to Mayor Dayton King and Fourth Ward Councilman Steven Smith asking if she could install the garden as a part of the improvements, the city DPW sent two people out to help.

She said a small one was put in, said she hopes to put in a larger garden next year.

“I think everything along that Rail Trail, the more you building it up… it’s beautiful and it serves a function,” she said.