Cape councilors OK grant application for Shore Road pathway funds

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Town councilors on Monday approved a grant application to the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System to fund construction of the Shore Road pathway.

Councilors Penny Jordan and Jessica Sullivan opposed the application in the 5-2 vote.

Town staff can now complete and submit an application for the estimated cost of $980,000. Although the PACTS grant funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is limited to $600,000 for the entire greater Portland area, the town is applying for the full amount in the hopes that other funds will become available.

Town Planner Maureen O’Meara said the funding will not be available for another two years, but it is smart to apply for as much as possible. She said there are also two other sources of funding that she is exploring.

“We are really trying to be creative here,” O’Meara said.

In September, the Town Council endorsed a concept plan for the path and authorized up to $110,000 to be spent from town funds for design, permits and survey work.

Council Chairwoman Anne Swift-Kayatta said since the grant is expected to be funded 80 percent by PACTS and 20 percent by local contributions, she doesn’t believe the town will have to contribute.

But questions about the 20 percent local contribution was raised by both Jordan and Sullivan.

“How do we ensure town dollars are not a part of the 20 percent?” Jordan said.

And Sullivan expressed concern that private fundraising efforts may not produce the 20 percent by the time the funds would be needed.

But Councilor David Sherman said he is confident the council was “quite clear” last September that if the project is to move forward, funding would come from sources other than the town.

In other business, councilors voted 7-0 to ask the Planning Board to remove a recently approved condition at Winnick Woods to regulate hours of operation and enforce a leash law for dogs. The Town Council will address property use issues later this year as part of an open space and Greenbelt Trail management plan.

The next meeting of the council will be a workshop session on Monday, Jan. 25. The council will discuss the Fort Williams fee proposal, but will not vote or take public comment.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]