Vernon Township Mayor Howard Burrell hopes to present bids in early November for the township’s walking and biking path, and that construction will begin by the end of the month.
The township council on Oct. 26 approved an easement for a parcel adjacent to the Municipal Center owned by HR II Development Corps, which is owned by Andrew Mulvihill.
Mulvihill’s Minerals Hotel, Minerals Sports Club, Elements Space, and Kite’s American Grill make up the township’s fifth largest ratable, Burrell said.
This approval, along with a previous easement approved by the Vernon Township PAL, has removed the final two roadblocks to beginning the trail project.
“This first phase of our town’s walking and biking trail project will start on town owned property located near the Municipal Center and will proceed to town owned property located at Black Creek Drive,” Burrell said.
“I have previously explained, my support for a walking and biking trail in this portion of our town, where we already have sewer service lines and capability, is based on my strong belief and hope that a walking and biking trail will be a positive factor that will contribute to the achievement of a key economic developmental objective, of attracting more paying MUA customers into our area,” the mayor said.
Burrell said his studies show walking and biking trails boost spending at nearby local businesses, makes the community a more attractive place to live, and influences business location and relocation decisions. He said the cost of buying land, plus construction and maintenance, are outweighed by the economic benefits the township can reap.
“The people of this township who have given us their vote of confidence to move our town forward in a thoughtful and positive manner expect us to not simply talk about what we would like to do or plan to do,” Burrell said. “They want us to take the action needed to put our town in a better civic and economic position in both the present and the future.”
“My support for a walking and biking trail in this portion of our town, where we already have sewer service lines and capability, is based on my strong belief and hope that a walking and biking trail will be a positive factor that will contribute to the achievement of a key economic developmental objective.” Mayor Howard Burrell