Vernon Township officials unveiled their vision for the township’s proposed walking and biking trail and the proposed bicycle pump track, and said they hope to have the $900,000 project completed by November.
At a June 10 virtual meeting, township engineer Cory Stoner showed of a diagram of a walking/biking trail that would begin at the municipal center parking lot and continue toward the Police Athletic League property. From there, it turns left onto the Baldwin property toward Black Creek Drive and then to the proposed pump track area, which features a 30-space parking lot and picnic area, a small beginner track and larger main track. A proposed multi-purpose trail loops around the pump track and into the parking lot.
“It has to be a place that people want to come to, so it has to be nice,” Stoner said.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) storage area is adjacent to the proposed track.
The township planned to solicit bids for the pump track construction by Monday and will request a contractor to design and build the track.
“This is like an art, and we’re going to request proposals for contractors to design and build it in the budget that we establish,” Stoner said.
The estimated cost for the project is $195,000 for the biking/walking trail and $170,000 for the pump track.
The multi-purpose trail around the pump track is estimated at $50,000. The parking lot is estimated to cost $60,000.
Improvements to Black Creek Drive starting from Route 94 are estimated at $225,000. An access road off Omega Drive is estimated at $200,000, but that is pending the township’s purchase of the Baldwin property using Open Space funds.
Stoner said the contract can be awarded by July 12 with a completed design by Aug. 30. Construction can begin in September and finish in November, with a projected opening by November if all goes well.
Officials hope the trail and pump track will bring additional tax revenue into the township to offset property taxes.
According to a presentation by Councilman Andrew Pitsker, the township could see $40,000 in annual tax revenue from day trippers and $60,000 annually from overnight visitors.
He said the trail can also increase the value of adjacent properties.
The pump track is estimated to cost about $10,000 per year to maintain. Quoting the township’s risk manager, business administrator Charles Voelker said the track would cost the township less than $1,000 in additional funds per year.
Township resident Gene Arnold said along with the trails, track, and mountain biking offered at Mountain Creek and Wawayanda State Park, people will want to come to Vernon to spend long weekends.
“We have not been sitting here thinking about a pump track or thinking about a trail,” Vernon Township Mayor Howard Burrell said. “We’ve been thinking about our town center and how to develop that. We’ve been working to make that a reality.”
ernon Township officials unveiled their vision for the township’s proposed walking and biking trail and the proposed bicycle pump track, and said they hope to have the $900,000 project completed by November.
“This is like an art, and we’re going to request proposals for contractors to design and build it in the budget that we establish.” Cory Stoner