Vernon’s new biking, walking trail expected to open this summer

While the mayor expects work to be completed soon, one council member questioned whether it should be halted until ownership of a nearby roadway was determined.

Vernon /
| 31 May 2022 | 09:25

The Vernon Township Bicycle Pump Track and the township’s walking and biking trail are both expected to be open by summer, Mayor Howard Burrell announced at the May 23 Township Council meeting.

While work on the pump track was suspended due to the winter, Spohn Ranch, which was awarded the contract to build the track, was scheduled to resume work during the last week of May.

Burrell said, weather permitting, the pump track could be completed by the end of June.

Salmon Bros. began work on the township’s walking and biking trail on May 17 and are expected to complete the trail by the contracted date of July 1.

Both the pump track and the trail are located off Black Creek Drive, and the township’s planned improvements for the road were planned to go along with the pump track to the tune of about $290,000.

Council President Patrick Rizzuto recently questioned the road’s ownership. Burrell said decades ago, some “property-related transfer documents were not recorded” in a way that he cold not determine “with 100 percent certainty” who owns the road. He said finding out who owns the road will not be easy.

Burrell said he will provide the council and the public with the answer to the question when it is available.

The township had plowed and maintained the road for decades.

“There’s a big difference between maintaining and reconstructing,” Rizzuto said.

Councilman Brian Lynch suggested pausing any work on Black Creek Drive itself until the township finds out who rightfully owns it.

“I listened to what you said about Black Creek Drive, and you had eight points,” Councilwoman Natalie Buccieri said. “And I believe each of those eight points were based on an assumption. That was your word, and I don’t think we should spend taxpayer dollars to the tune of almost $300,000 of possible improvements to a road based on an assumption.”