The Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path (the “Friends”) announced today that they have undertaken a concentrated effort to raise the last funds needed to complete the Marion Connector.
The Town of Mattapoisett was recently awarded a $110,000 state MassTrails grant for construction of a section of the bike and pedestrian path between the eastern end of Industrial Park Drive and the Marion Town line, known as the “Marion Connector.” (At the border, it will connect with a similar shared use path to be constructed in the future by the Town of Marion.) While state funding for trail projects has been cut back by necessity, this grant gives us a great opportunity to continue building our community’s shared-use path. Since the Town hopes to combine the Connector project with its Industrial Drive reconstruction project (already funded from federal and Town money), it is looking to private sources to make up the remaining difference.
The budgeted construction cost for the Marion Connector is $410,000. The Town is authorized to match any non-Town funds dollar for dollar. If the Friends can raise $95,000 in commitments from private sources, the project will be fully funded and can be put out to bid this December with the other planned Industrial Drive improvements. Construction of the Marion Connector could then begin next year and open by the end of 2021.
The Board of the Friends has taken on this fundraising challenge, already raising more than $50,000 in cash and commitments for this project, so only $45,000 remains to be raised.
“We are very excited that we are so close to making this piece of the bike path a reality,” said Bonne DeSousa, President of the Friends. “This multi-use path will provide safe, off-road access for runners, walkers, and cyclists, not only to Marion but also to trails leading to the Tinkham Forest, to the Old Rochester Regional High School campus, and to a host of beautiful wooded trails on Sippican Lands Trust Property. When the Marion pathway is built, our “connector” will enable pedestrians and bicyclists to walk, run, or ride from the harbor in Fairhaven to Point Road in Marion on low traffic roads or paved trails away from heavily traveled roadways.”
The Friends is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, so contributions to the Friends for the construction of the Marion Connector are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Friends will apply 100% of contributions toward the construction of the Marion Connector. Commitments payable during 2020 or 2021 will count toward meeting the required funding.
Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path, PO Box 1336, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. Contacts: Liz DiCarlo, 508-942-9343, email@example.com, and Bill Coquillette, 216-789-2303, firstname.lastname@example.org.