WILMINGTON -- After a request from the Trail Committee for the town to accept up to $200,000 for legal counsel regarding the Valley Trail, the Selectboard members spoke among themselves.
"The Selectboard decided to go into executive session to talk about what ways they could possibly pursue the request," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "And they have not made any decisions. Nothing has come out of executive session."
On Oct. 16, the Wilmington Selectboard was approached by Wilmington Trail Committee Chairman John Greene and John Gannon, a Wilmington Works Board member. They announced that a donation of $200,000 had been received by the Wilmington Fund VT, an organization that Gannon works extensively with for projects that benefit the town.
Gannon told the board that the money could be used to assist the town with hiring a legal expert and determining whether improvements can be made on the Wilmington portion of the Valley Trail without an Act 250 permit.
The money also could help with any permitting processes involved with the Wilmington Trail Committee's vision.
A main goal of the committee right now is to put surepak gravel on the trail and put in a new drainage system that would improve the grounds for hiking as well as biking.
"We had the bridge put in, which has really spawned quite an enormous amount of activity," said Greene, referring to the new footbridge. "So now, we have trails going every which way. These improvements will make it very family friendly. Kids on bikes can access the whole length of the trail."
The Dover portion of the trail has that type of ground on parts of it already. Greene mentioned that the plan entails connecting the towns' trails with surepak near the Dover line and Coldbrook Road. The committee has received permission from property owners at Chimney Hill and the Hermitage Club.
"We have permission to do this with the exception of the small stretch of National Forest property," said Greene.
Although that section is drier than other sections of the Wilmington side of the trail, he said the committee would still like to have the ability to surepak the portion in National Forest land.
"It's still fairly wet," Greene added.
Another challenge for the committee will be taking care of a washed out culvert. Greene believes it can be done by constructing a bridge over it. Selectboard member Susie Haughwout had concerns about a well on that site becoming reestablished.
"It's not the best place for traffic," she said.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.