Pentwater-Hart bike trail meeting Thursday.

April 23, 2016

bike tour 2PENTWATER — Supporters of the proposed Pentwater-Hart Bicycle Trail will meet on Thursday, April 28, at 6 p.m. in the Pentwater Community Hall, at 327 Hancock St.. Anyone interested in this effort is welcome to attend.

According to Dr. Claudia Ressel-Hodan, who is spearheading the initiative, the agenda includes an update of Phase 1 accomplishments; ideas for forming a “Friends of Trail” group; plans for raising $5,000 needed for initial survey work; and other next steps.

The proposed 10-foot wide, 5.1 mile trail would provide a safer bicycle route between the Pentwater and Hart business districts, and to the north end of the William Field Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail. It would be constructed on Oceana County road right-of-way, beginning at the intersection of Long Bridge and Wayne roads in Pentwater Township. From there, it would continue along Wayne Road and 72nd Avenue through Weare and Hart townships to Tyler Road. Cyclists would then pedal along Tyler to downtown Hart, and along Water Street to the Hart-Montague trail.

“We’ve begun a dialogue with the Oceana County Road Commission, officials of the City of Hart, Hart Township, Pentwater Township, Village of Pentwater, and Weare Township; and even a few property owners along the route,” said Ressel-Hodan. “Many have acknowledged that, with the growing popularity of bicycling, there are more cyclists – residents and visitors alike — riding through our communities. They’d sure be safer if we can get them off Wayne Road and 72nd Avenue through the three townships, where motorists are more often encountering them, sometimes with little warning.”

Organizers estimate the overall cost to be $1.2 million, with about three-fourths of the funds raised for similar projects elsewhere in Michigan coming from government sources that include the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Federal Transportation Alternatives Program that is administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Michigan’s Recreation Passport.  

“We’ve already raised about 20 percent of the $5,000 needed at the outset for survey and engineering work that’s needed to determine the project’s overall feasibility,” she said.

A Capital Campaign Committee is being formed to raise the required local matching funds from individuals, couples, families, businesses, civic organizations and philanthropic sources. So that contributors can receive all eligible tax deductions, the committee has recently created the Pentwater-Hart Trail Campaign Fund under the auspices of the Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC).       

“We’re delighted to provide campaign services to help guide this important fundraising effort,” said CFOC Executive Director Tammy Carey. “It will bring a great recreational amenity to our county residents, attract visitors, and be a stimulus to area businesses. One of the important leadership roles our community foundation plays in Oceana is to create, assist and administer funds that are formed to raise monies for important causes that provide economic and social benefits to our area.”  Anyone wanting to make a tax deductible donation can do so by logging onto http://oceana-foundation.org/pentwatertrail.

Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising at upcoming spring, summer and fall events such as the Start of Summer party, community garage sale, events held on the Village Green, and PALM Bike Tour. For more information, contact Ressel-Hodan at 231-233-9717.           

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