Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter:  Andy Goldbloom

Action
Recreation Trails Grant Funding
May 24, 2012

I.       Executive Summary:  This item is to award federal funds allocated under the National Recreational Trail Grants for trail construction, renovation and acquisition projects.  This item obligates federal National Recreational Trail Funds to eligible trail projects based upon the recommendations of the Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee.

II.      Discussion:  The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases to utilize off-road recreational vehicles, such as off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers.  The purpose of the NRTF is to provide funding for projects that create new and maintain existing motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.  These federal funds are administered by the Federal Highway Administration and distributed to states via a formula that takes into account state population and sales of fuel for off-road recreational vehicles.  Nationwide, the program was appropriated $95 million for the current federal fiscal year (FY2012).  However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through June 30, 2012, making only 75 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.  Currently, Texas’ share of these funds is $2,797,034.  Seven percent of the state’s apportionment ($195,790) is utilized to cover costs to administer the program, leaving $2,601,244 to fund projects.  A number of projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and one project was cancelled, creating another $573,748 available for re-allocation this year resulting in a total of $3,174,992 of federal funding available to fund eligible trail construction projects.  The Department will utilize $485,000 of re-allocated funding to fund trail improvements in seven state parks and use $2,689,992 to fund an additional local project.

The program has an annual deadline of February 1 for local sponsors to submit trail funding proposals.  Eighty-two projects were submitted for funding consideration requesting over $11.0 million in funds.  One of the submitted projects was determined to be ineligible; the 81 eligible projects were evaluated and scored by the Texas Trails Advisory Board.  Recommendations are to fund 27 of the projects at this time, in addition to the state park trail improvement program for a total of $3,174,992 of federal funding assistance.

The Act that created this fund stipulates that states must have a trails advisory board made up of various trail user group representatives to be eligible to receive the federal funds.  The purpose of the trails advisory board is to provide guidance in the distribution of these funds.  The nine member, Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee met in March 2012 to review the submitted trail project proposals and develop a list of recommended projects for funding.  Each project was reviewed by the advisory committee and scored based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities, and geographic distribution of funds.  Exhibit A contains the list of submitted projects, with funds requested, project scoring and funding recommendations made by the advisory committee and a description of each project.

A federal requirement of the NRTF is that 30 percent of the funds be spent on motorized recreational trail projects, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects, with the remaining 40 percent discretionary.  Two submitted projects that will create new motorized trails, one sponsored by the Town of Van Horn and the other by the Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. are recommended to receive funding assistance even though they did not score as high as other projects to satisfy the 30 percent motorized trail requirement.  The list of projects recommended for funding, if approved, will satisfy this federal requirement.

It is anticipated that Congress will authorize transportation funding for the entire fiscal year through another continuing resolution or passage of a multi-year funding legislation.  Assuming funding formulas are not altered, this would result in an additional $910,000 appropriated to the state for the program.  While the uncertainty regarding federal funding levels for the program has been drawn out in recent years, once the funding is authorized there is a short time frame to obligate funding to eligible projects.  For this reason, the Commission is being asked to approve funding of additional projects based upon their score, contingent on additional funding being approved by Congress.

III.     Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"Funding for 27 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $2,689,992 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $485,000 is approved.  If additional funding is made available, funding for additional projects based upon their score is also approved."

Attachments-1

  1. Exhibit A-Project Listing and Funding Recommendations

Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Ranking of 2012 Recreational Trail Grant Proposals
Score Sponsor Project Name County Funds Requested Funds Recommended Project Description
53 City of Baytown Nature Center Trails, Phase II Harris $84,614 $73,350 New 1 mile granite trail, benches, signing, fencing, boardwalk
52 Trinity Trail Preservation Assoc. Trinity Trail Erosion Control Project Collin $27,960 $27,960 Renovation/erosion control along 25 mile equestrian trail
50 Angelina County Cassels-Boykin Trails Angelina $73,336 $73,336 New 7 mile hike/bike trail, bridges, benches, signing
50 Sam Houston National Forest Multiple-Use Trail Rehab. Phase IV Walker $200,000 $200,000 Renovate 20 mile motorized trail, erosion control, bridge, signs, equip.
48 Greater Houston Offroad Mnt. Bike Assoc. Spring Creek Greenway Flintridge Tr. Montgomery $100,000 $100,000 New 5 mile renovate 6 mile natural surface trail, bridges, signing
48 City of Mineola Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine Wood $16,000 $16,000 New 1 mile natural/crushed aggregate trail, signing
48 White River Municipal Water Dist. ATV Trails Crosby $141,200 $141,200 New ATV motorized park, parking lot, fencing, signing, pavilion, tables
47 Friends of Friedrich Wilderness Park Friedrich Wilderness Park Trails Bexar $76,700 $76,700 New 4.7 mile natural surfaced nature trail, signs
46 Texas Equestrian Trailriders Assoc. Waco Lake Reynolds Creek Trailhead McLennan $41,976 $41,976 Restroom, shade, storage shed, tools hitching posts
45 City of Childress ATV & Moto Park Improvements Childress $180,024 $180,024 Motorized trail park improvements, fencing, tools, erosion control
45 City of Sulphur Springs Buford Park Trail Hopkins $63,960 $63,960 New 0.5 mile concrete trail, benches, signing, bollards
43 City of Del Rio San Felipe Creek Trail Improvements Val Verde $149,000 $149,000 New 0.2, renovate 0.2 mile concrete trail, signing
43 City of Dripping Springs Harrison Ranch Park Equine Trail Hays $100,000 $100,000 New 1.8 mile natural surface trail, parking area, signing
43 San Antonio River Authority Helton - San Antonio River Park Trail Bexar $150,000 $150,000 New 1.1 mile granite/concrete trail
42 City of Beaumont Klein Park Walking Trail Improvements Jefferson $75,000 $75,000 Resurface 0.7 mile tr, ADA imp., benches, signs, drainage
42 City of Blossom Blossom Recreational Rail Trail Lamar $100,003 $100,003 New 1.5 mile asphalt trail, bridge railing, vehicle controls
42 Fort Worth Mountain Bikers Assoc. Gateway Park Mile Mountain Bike Tr. Tarrant $16,402 $14,372 New 0.5 mile natural surface trail, signs, tools
42 City of Richmond Richmond Trail Fort Bend $109,280 $109,280 New 0.9 mile granite/concrete trail, bridge
40 City of Clarksville Gate to Texas Trail Red River $128,000 $128,000 New 2.0 mile crushed aggregate trail, bridge decking/railing, signing
40 City of College Station Iron Bridge Trail Brazos $76,020 $76,020 Renovate 0.6 mile granite trail, benches, signing
40 City of Elgin Shenandoah Trail Bastrop $77,395 $77,395 New 0.6 mile granite trail
39 City of Brownsville Belden Trail Cameron $151,274 $151,274 New 1.0 mile asphalt trail, benches, bollards
39 City of Converse North Park Walking Trail Bexar $55,142 $55,142 New 1.2 mile asphalt trail, benches, signs, drinking fountains
39 City of Richardson Breckinridge - Ruth Back Toler Park Dallas $200,000 $160,000 New 0.75 mile trail, renovate 0.3 mile trail, bridge, signs, benches
38 Coke County Econ. Dev. Group Coke County OHV Park Coke $200,000 $50,000 New motorized trail park, restroom, utilities, parking, fencing
38 City of Levelland Levelland Trail Hockley $33,816 $0 New 0.2 concrete trail, benches, sign
38 City of Riesel Mullen's Park Fitness & Rec. Trail McLennan $125,915 $0 New 0.5 mile Concrete trail, rest stations, lighting, parking
38 Village of Surfside Beach Bluewater Trail Phase II Brazoria $158,603 $0 New 1.5 mile asphalt/crushed aggregate trail, restroom, deck
38 City of Tyler Black Fork Creek Trail Extension Smith $189,200 $0 New 3.75 mile granite trail, bridges
37 City of Allen Cottonwood Creek Hike & Bike Trail Collin $181,500 $0 New 0.6 mile concrete trail, bridge, signing
37 City of Caldwell Davidson Creek Park Trail Burleson $90,000 $0 New 0.9 mile asphalt trail, bridge, culverts
37 Student Conservation Association SCA Conservation Crews Harris $96,810 $0 Trail youth crews to construct 6 miles of new trail, renovate 16 miles
37 Town of Van Horn Van Horn Recreational Trails Culberson $176,586 $150,000 New 4 mile motorized trail, tools/equipment, storage shed, signing
37 City of White Oak White Oak Recreational Trail Gregg $151,152 $0 New 0.6 mile concrete trail, bridges, benches, signing
36 City of Canyon Canyon Parks Biking/Jogging Trails Randall $68,823 $0 New 3 mile granite trails in 3 city parks
36 Central ISD Central ISD Outdoor Trail Angelina $114,142 $0 New 0.75 mile asphalt trail, benches, water fountain, shade
36 Harris County W.C.I.D. #145 WCID 145 Trails Harris $100,000 $0 New 1.1 mile concrete trail, signs
36 City of Laredo Santa Rita Park Trails Webb $51,688 $0 Signing, benches, bike rack at existing trail
36 City of McAllen Bentsen to Taylor Rd. Trail Hidalgo $63,600 $0 New 0.5 mile asphalt trail
36 Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. Richards-Raven Trail Network Montgomery $508,000 $150,000 New 20 mile motorized trail, bridges, trailhead, signing, NEPA
36 City of San Marcos Purgatory Creek Natural Area Trails Hays $191,780 $0 New 1.4 mile granite trail, parking
35 Justin Community Dev. Corp. Justin Equestrian and Pedestrian Tr. Denton $184,594 $0 New 3 mile, renovate 0.6 mile trail, bridges, signing, tables, pavilions
34 City of Palestine Reagan Park Trail Anderson $113,265 $0 New 0.5 mile concrete trail in park, benches, signs, trash barrels
34 City of Taylor Taylor Cross Town Recreation Trail Williamson $180,800 $0 New 0.5 renovate 0.4 mile concrete trail, benches, signs, land
33 Aransas County Airport Loop & North Peninsula Trail Aransas $200,000 $0 New 3.6 mile crushed aggregate trail, signing
33 Greens Bayou Coalition 1st Love Com. United Methodist Trail Harris $136,194 $0 New 0.9 mile asphalt trail, benches, signs
33 City of Horseshoe Bay Horseshoe Bay Trail Burnet $200,000 $0 New 1 mile granite trail, signing
33 City of Huntsville Phase 1 Railroad Trail Walker $200,000 $0 New 1 mile concrete trail, bridge, lighting
33 City of Pearland Phase II Connectivity Trail Brazoria $200,000 $0 New 2.75 mile concrete trail
32 City of Temple Jaycee Park Hike and Trike Trail Bell $106,000 $0 New 0.5 mile concrete trail, benches, drinking fountains
31 Colin's Hope Colin's Hope Trail Travis $180,128 $0 New 1.9 mile aggregate/concrete trail, restroom, lighting, benches
31 City of Port Lavaca Wilson Field Sports Complex Trails Calhoun $143,886 $0 New 0.7 mile concrete trail in city park
30 Bowie County Northeast Texas Trail Bowie $178,000 $0 Improve 11.4 mile section of rail-trail, erosion control, signing
30 Brushy Creek MUD Trail Renovations and Extension Williamson $125,000 $0 New 0.2, renovate 0.5 mile granite trail, bridges, trailheads
30 City of Hico Hike & Bike Trail Extension Hamilton $148,610 $0 New 1 mile concrete trail, bridge modification, benches, water fount.
30 City of Krum Community Nature Trail Denton $198,600 $0 New 1 mile asphalt trail, parking, access road, benches, signs
29 Harris County MUD No. 365 Jarvis Hike & Bike Trail Harris $200,000 $0 New 1.25 mile concrete and granite trail, bridge, benches, signing
29 City of Kilgore Meadowbrook Park Trail Gregg $144,480 $0 New 0.5 mile RAP trail, bridges, benches, signing
29 Town of Little Elm McCord Trail Denton $200,000 $0 New 2 mile concrete trail, bridge, signs, benches
28 City of Winnsboro KCS Rail to Trail Wood $150,000 $0 New 0.9 mile asphalt trail, parking area, signing, picnic tables
27 City of Longview Akin Park Trail Rehabilitation Gregg $197,418 $0 Renovate 0.4 miles concrete trail, bridges
27 City of Rice Mike Dickens Memorial Park Trail Navarro $200,000 $0 New 1.2 mile concrete/granite trail in city park
26 City of Fort Worth Trailhead at Trinity Park Tarrant $115,000 $0 Parking, restroom, pavilion, plaza, water fountain, tables
26 White River Municipal Water Dist. Campground 1 Walking Trail Crosby $121,440 $0 New 0.6 mile concrete trail around campground
25 City of Anna Creekside Park Trail Collin $196,800 $0 New 0.6 mile concrete trail, bridges, benches, drinking fountain, tables
25 Cameron County Old Military Road Historic & Nature Tr. Cameron $109,058 $0 New 0.5 mile concrete trail, restroom, benches, signing, water fountain
25 City of Mansfield Walnut Creek Trail Extension Tarrant $200,000 $0 New 0.2 mile concrete connector trail, bridge
25 City of New London New London Recreational Trail Rusk $170,771 $0 New 0.8 mile asphalt trail, bridges, benches, tables, signing
24 City of Emory Emory Recreational Trail Rains $187,665 $0 New 0.5 mile asphalt trail, parking area, restroom, land
24 City of Goliad Goliad Hike & Bike Trail Goliad $184,020 $0 New 0.05 mile connector trail, bridge, tools
23 Horsepen Bayou MUD Walking Trails of Concord Bridge Harris $114,800 $0 New 0.5 mile concrete trail, fence, fitness equipment, signs
22 Hickory Creek Nonprofit Corp. Elm Fork and Pilot Knoll Trailheads Denton $63,640 $0 Renovate trailheads to accommodate equestrian use
20 City of Corpus Christi Oso Creek Park Trail Nueces $199,365 $0 Trailhead and parking area for nature/bike trail
20 Hermann Park Conservancy Sunset Meadow in Hermann Park Harris $93,600 $0 New 0.1 mile trail, water fountain, benches, signs trash cans
19 City of Angleton Freedom Park Phase IV Brazoria $200,000 $0 New 1 mile cinder trail, restroom, bridge, parking lot, signs, fitness st.
19 City of Houston Avenue Place Greenbelt Trail Harris $165,894 $0 New 0.1 mile concrete trail, crosswalks, benches
18 City of El Campo West Loop Park Wharton $200,000 $0 New 1.6 mile granite trail in city park
18 City of Reno Reno Rail Trail Lamar $30,240 $0 Renovate surface of 1000' trail section
17 City of Wylie Sage Creek Trail Repair Collin $11,410 $0 Erosion control, surface repair of existing trail
14 University of Texas at El Paso Crazy Cat Trail Phase I El Paso $200,000 $0 New 0.2 mile asphalt trail, retaining walls, lighting
12 City of El Paso Electric Corridor Trail El Paso $116,886 $0 New 0.1 mile asphalt trail, landscaping, benches, signs
Funding for 27 projects = $2,689,992  
State Park Trail Improvements = $485,000  
Total recommended funding = $3,174,992  





















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