Recreational pathways millage renewal on August ballot

By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.- On Tuesday night the township board of trustees voted 5-0 to place a millage renewal on the Aug. 7 ballot for the recreational pathways. The langage of the millage will be discussed at the March 19 township board of trustees meeting.
In November 2014 area voters went to the polls and OK’d recreational pathways by a vote of 1,664 yes to 1,502 no.
The 1/8 mill or $6 per year for a $100,000 home generates about $33,292 per year to fund the pathways in the township.
The ‘Walk, Bike, Run Atlas Township committee formed in 2013 and gathered 358 signed petitions from residents in support of recreational paths in the township. The committee reported trails are necessary to provide a sense of community, increase property values, offer a safe location for outdoor activities, attract young families to the community, and improve the health of residents. Much of the funding for the project will come from established grant sources such as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. However, matching dollars are often needed which will be funded by the pathway millage.
Since the millage passed trail projects have moved forward.
On Oct. 1, about 50 gathered for the Gale Road walking trail opening at the township offices, 7386 Gale Road. The new 12 foot wide trail on the west side of Gale Road is from Goodrich Oaktree Elementary School to the Village of Atlas. In December 2015, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund announced its final recommendation for $300,000 in funding for the construction of a one-mile long path along the Gale Road right-of-way. The estimated cost of the Gale Road Trail will be $778,173. The $300,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant plus $300,000 from the Transportation Alternatives Program or TAP Grant will comprise about 80 percent of the money needed for the project.