FUNDING & MAINTENANCE PLANNING
This is the PLAN to build and maintain
the Rail Trail at no or little cost to
the taxpayers of Seabrook
This corridor runs right through the middle of our town.
It would be a shame to not make this our new
Seabrook Rail Trail will be built with grants and donations. There will be four (4) phases.
Each phase will be built ONLY AS GRANTS AND DONATED FUNDS are acquired.
1. Phase 1 – Railroad Ave to library (NH Recreations Trails Grant/In-Kind Donations) 2. Phase 2 – Mass. Border to Walton Road Bridge (Federal Transportation Alternative Program, CMAQ Pollution Mitigation Funding)) 3. Phase 3 - Walton Road to Library (Conservation Comm. Funding, NHDOT-bridge span, several other grant opportunities) 4. Phase 4 – Railroad Ave. north detour around Seabrook Station. (Grants & Businesses) FUNDING: Grants we are eligible for:
Federal & State Grants available for Rail Trails: https://www.railstotrails.org/build-trails/trail-building-toolbox/acquisition/financing-and-funding/
CMAQ Funding: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) seeks to fund transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Examples of eligible CMAQ projects include pedestrian and bicycle projects.
Federal Transportation Funding: Bicycle and Pedistrian Transportation Funding Programs CDFA & CDBG Funding: Salem, NH has been successful in applying for tax credits through the NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA State Tax Credits) to help finance their rail trail. Heritage Grants: LCHIP or Moose Plate Grants, LWCF: Land & Water Conservation Fund - Using zero taxpayer dollars, the fund invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help strengthen communities, preserve our history and protect our national endowment of lands and waters.
The grants we are seeking will be spent in NH whether Seabrook receives that money or not.
In fact, several million has been spent in other parts of NH on rail trails over the last several years.
We will ONLY be responsible for the sections (phases) of the corridor that we improve. That’s why we want to build a solid trail up front, so future maintenance costs are minimized. All we can go by is other local trails and what their maintenance costs are. A survey of 95 rail trails in 2013/2014, (including several trails in NH) found that the average cost for basic maintenance per year of 1 mile of crushed stone trails were $1006.00. Paved trails were $1971.00 per mile. We cannot guarantee future maintenance costs of the trail, because we cannot forecast natural events. Most rail trails are repaired if a major washout occurs with FEMA grants & funding (this corridor was built so well that it is in good condition after 150 years of storms!) The rail trails in Salisbury are maintained by volunteers, except for washouts. In reality, it should not cost anymore then the yearly maintenance of ball fields in town.
Future Maintenance Fundraising: Friends of Seabrook Rail Trail will be the volunteer group that takes care of basic maintenance of the trail. The goal is to keep a separate ‘Maintenance Fund’ that will cover maintenance cost and keep Seabrook’s cost as low as possible. We have gaming nights at Ocean Gaming that will provide several thousand per year and are also trying to get into the Lafayette Place Gaming room. But voters must understand this is a park just like other parks in town, and if people are using & enjoying this park, then it is not a bad thing to support this wonderful 2-mile-long PARK that gives our residents of ALL AGES a way to move about town in a healthy, fun and safe venue. The Ghost Trail in Salisbury has 1/10-mile markers that are sponsored by businesses along the trail, along with benches that are sponsored by private citizens. This raises several thousand dollars a year for the Ghost Trail maintenance costs. This is used to hire professional tree trimmers and to pay for other materials necessary to keep the trail in good condition. We could do the same.
Seabrook Planning Board, Friends of Seabrook Rail Trail, TEC Engineering and Rockingham Planning Commission has been volunteering MANY hours planning, outreach, fund raising, and grant writing. We will be asking local businesses to be good stewards/neighbors and help us build ‘our new Main Street’. Seabrook has become a ‘shopping destination and is the reason our streets are so busy now. We need to make it safe for pedestrians or bicyclist, and why shouldn’t Seabrook get these grants and donated monies, and use them for this project?
NH Community Development Finance Authority