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Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Action
Recreation Trails Grant Funding
May 21, 2015

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 $85 million for the current federal fiscal year (FY2015).  However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through May 15, 2015, making only 67 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.  Currently, Texas’ share of these funds is $2,659,566.  Seven percent of the state’s apportionment ($186,170) is utilized to cover costs to administer the program, leaving $2,473,396 to fund projects.  A number of projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and two projects were canceled, creating another $600,000 available for re-allocation this year.  The Department has been utilizing the re-allocated funding to fund trail improvements in state parks.    The result is a total of $3,073,396 of federal funding available to fund eligible trail construction projects.

The program has an annual deadline of February 1 for local sponsors to submit trail funding proposals.  78 projects were submitted for funding consideration requesting $11,909,111 in funds. Projects were evaluated and scored by the Texas Trails Advisory Board.  Recommendations are to fund 17 of the projects totaling $2,376,733 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 2015 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.  Because few public park entities in Texas provide opportunities for motorized trail riding, it is typically difficult to generate enough motorized trail proposals to meet the 30 percent motorized trail mandate.  As such, the grant funding limit for motorized proposals is $400,000 per project versus $200,000 for non-motorized proposals.  Funding recommendations in Exhibit A include 3 motorized trail projects that satisfy the 30 percent motorized trail 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 $1,201,840 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 17 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $2,376,733 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $600,000 is approved.  In addition, upon receipt of the anticipated 33 percent of the annual National Recreational Trail Fund apportionment the next 8 projects in priority order as shown in Exhibit A are contingently approved. "

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Project Listing and Funding Recommendations

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Ranking of 2015 Recreational Trail Grant Proposals
Score Sponsor Project Name County Funds Requested Funds Recommended Project Description
51 Cooper Spring Nature Park Foundation Cooper Spring Nature Park Recreational Trails Lampasas $69,596 $69,596 New 1.9 mile accessible trail, bridge, signs
51 Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill Flowering Dogwood Trail and Observation Tower Dallas $43,120 $43,120 New 1.0 mile trail, signs, interpretive/educational signs, observation deck, benches, bridges
48 Eaton Hill Nature Center Trail Rejuvenation for Easton Hill Nature Center Sutton $24,560 $24,560 Trail Amenities: trail head kiosk, Interpretive signs, signs
47 Brazos Valley Mountain Bike Association (BVMBA) Lake Bryan Trail System Rehabilitation and Expansion Brazos $20,000 $20,000 Renovate 23 mile trail, new 2.0 mile trail, signage, tools, equipment
47 Mountain Creek Community Church with DORBA Big Cedar Pavilion/ Wounded Warriors Trail Dallas $130,000 $130,000 New 1.5 mile trail & renovate 1.0 mile of existing trail, pavilion, restroom, accessible, signs, bridges, parking, water fountain, bike rack, fire hydrant
46 Texas Motorized Trails Coalition Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area Upshur $188,172 $188,172 New 5.0 mile OHV trail & renovate 15.0 mile of existing OHV trail, education/safety training building, vehicle wash, signs
45 White River Municipal Water District White River Reservoir Multi-Use Trail System Crosby $381,616 $381,616 New 15.0 mile OHV trail, renovate 10.0 mile existing trail, fencing, entrance road, signs, equipment, construction management
44 City of Baytown, Parks and Recreation Department Cary Bayou Trail Phase III Harris $44,044 $44,044 New 0.75 mile decomposed granite trail, culvert, signage, trash cans, benches,
44 City of Denison Waterloo Lake Regional Park-Trail Improvements Grayson $200,000 $200,000 Renovation of existing trails and new 0.5 mile concrete trail, retaining walls, parking lot repair, signs, bridges
44 Texas Motorized Trails Coalition Escondido Draw Recreation Area (EDRA) Crockett $386,581 $386,581 Renovate 110 miles of existing trail, restroom, education/safety training building, signs, water treatment system, electric power, lights
43 Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. (SHTC) Lone Star Hiking Trail: San Jacinto River Bridge Project San Jacinto $200,000 $200,000 New Bridge & Renovate 2.0 miles of existing trails, renovate trail bridge including abutments, resource surveys
42 Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges Bobcat Woods Trail Extension Brazoria $160,000 $160,000 Repair 0.2 mile trail & new 0.65 mile, signs, benches, restore a water well, observation platform, support structure
41 City of DeSoto DeSoto Ranch Park-Nature Trail Dallas $200,000 $200,000 New 1.5 mile trail, signs, bridge, boardwalk, benches, bicycle station, parking lot, trash cans
40 Jim Wells County Tecolote Trails Jim Wells $52,544 $52,544 Trail Amenities: trailside restrooms, trail tool storage building, water fountains, lighting, fitness stations, fencing, pavilion
40 Tyler County Heritage Society Big Woods Trail Tyler $18,720 $18,720 Renovate 0.8 mile trail existing trail, signs, erosion control, bridge repair, benches & picnic tables, trailhead kiosk
39 North Texas Rural Rail Transportation District Wichita Valley Railway Daylight Trail Improvements Archer/Wichita $199,680 $199,680 Renovate 6.5 miles of rail trail with improved surfacing (limestone chat).
39 The Frontera Land Alliance Resler Canyon Nature Preserve, New Urban Trail El Paso $58,100 $58,100 New 0.5 trail, signs, benches, viewing platform, hand tools, equipment
38 City of Sulphur Springs Crosstown Trail Hopkins $199,465 ** $199,465 New 0.52 mile concrete trail, erosion control, benches, trash cans, bridge, signs, culverts
38 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas - Austin Research Trail Improvement Travis $47,155 ** $47,155 Renovate 0.9 mile existing trail, signs, interpretive signs, erosion control, ADA ramps
38 Nat'l Park Service-Lake Meredith Nat'l Recreation Area Fritch Fortress Trail Hutchinson $162,240 ** $162,240 New 3.38 mile trail, erosion control, signs
38 Texas A&M University-Texarkana Bringle Lake Trail-Phase 2 Renovation Bowie $199,500 ** $199,500 Renovate 2.5 miles of trail with soil-cement mixture to make it accessible, benches, signs
37 City of Fort Worth Arcadia Trail Park South-Trail Extension Tarrant $131,264 ** $131,264 New 0.1 mile concrete trail, bridge, signs
37 Robertson Colony-Salado College Foundation Salado College Park Trail Bell $14,159 ** $14,159 New 0.08 mile decomposed granite trail, ADA parking, signs
36 City of Deer Park North East Hike and Bike Trail Harris $200,000 ** $200,000 New 2.6 mile decomposed granite trail, signs, trailheads, benches, water fountains, bike racks
36 Coke Countywide Economic Development Group Coke County OHV Park Coke $399,818 ** $229,818 New 12.0 miles OHV trail & renovate existing 5.0 miles OHV trail, parking area, signage, restroom, fencing
35 City of Crandall Buffalo Creek Linear Park Kaufman $195,000 $0 New 1.7 mile concrete trail, bridges, benches, accessible ramps, culverts
35 City of Ennis Ennis Lake Clark Recreational Trail Ellis $200,000 $0 New 0.85 mile concrete trail, erosion control, benches and trash receptacles, signs
35 City of Forney Parks and Recreation Spellman 43 Acre Amphitheater-Trail Project Kaufman $200,000 $0 New 1.0 mile concrete trail, bridges, benches, signs, erosion control, lighting
35 City of Leander Leander Blockhouse Creek Trail Extension Williamson $120,000 $0 New 0.54 mile concrete trail, trail head kiosk and signs
34 City of Kilgore Kilgore Trail 2015 (Phase 3) Rusk $198,355 $0 New 0.53 mile concrete trail, erosion control, benches with trash cans, signs
32 City of Palestine Reagan Park Recreational Trail Anderson $137,587 $0 New 0.5 mile concrete trail, erosion control, signs, benches, trash cans
32 Near Northwest Management District White Oak Trail Connector Harris $200,000 $0 New 0.8 mile concrete trail, tree protection fencing, culverts
30 City of Los Fresnos Los Fresnos Hike & Bike Trail Cameron $200,000 $0 New 0.75 mile asphalt trail, signs, accessible ramps
30 City of Rusk Rusk Recreational Trails-Phase 2 Cherokee $170,463 $0 New 0.4 mile asphalt trail, renovate 0.7 mile of existing trail, erosion control, trash cans, benches, signs
30 Comal County, Texas Kleck Park Comal $32,400 $0 New 1.35 mile trail, equipment rental, signs
30 Town of Little Elm Panther Creek Segment II Denton $200,000 $0 New 0.75 mile concrete trail, ADA access, signs, boardwalk, observation deck, benches, trash cans, bike racks
30 Town of Prosper Cockrell Park Collin $200,000 $0 New 0.9 mile concrete trail, erosion control, signs, bridge, resource surveys
29 City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Slaughter Creek Greenbelt Equestrian Trail Travis $200,000 $0 New 2.1 mile trail, renovation of existing trail, signage, parking, landscape, benches, access ramps, corral & fence repair, trailhead amenities
29 City of Harlingen 25th Street Hike and Bike Trail Expansion Cameron $179,247 $0 New 1.0 mile decomposed granite trail, renovation of existing trail, signs, accessible ramps, security lighting
29 City of Wake Village Wake Village Trail System Bowie $200,000 $0 New 0.85 mile stabilized decomposed granite trail, signs, trailhead, benches, trash receptacles, erosion control, parking lot
28 Westchase Management District Center Point Trail Harris $200,000 $0 New 0.62 mile concrete trail, signs, parking lot, drainage, ADA ramps, fencing, fitness stations
27 City of Carthage City of Carthage City Park Panola $191,103 $0 New 1.3 mile concrete trail, signage, benches, fitness station, water fountain, entrance/ rest station,
27 City of Everman Pittman Park Renovation Tarrant $134,136 $0 Renovation of 1.0 mile trail, signs, entrance/rest station, water fountain
27 City of Normangee Normangee City Park Leon $37,421 $0 New 0.21 mile concrete trail, shade shelters, picnic tables, benches, signs
27 City of Terrell City of Terrell Recreational Trail Kaufman $200,000 $0 New 0.1 mile decomposed granite trail, New 1.5 mile natural surface trail, signs, benches, culverts, bridges
27 Harris County Municipal Utility District No 43 Multi-Use Trail Harris $200,000 $0 New 1.07 mile decomposed granite trail, concrete curb, signs, benches and trash cans, erosion control, accessible ramps, equestrian hitching posts,
26 City of El Campo Legacy Fields Trail Wharton $153,616 $0 New 1.3 mile decomposed granite trail, signs.
26 City of Falfurrias Falfurrias Trail System Brooks $200,000 $0 New 1.04 mile asphalt trail, signs, benches, water fountains
26 City of Nacogdoches Lanana Creek Trail Project Nacogdoches $200,000 $0 New 1.46 mile stabilized soil trail, erosion control, stream crossings, signs, parking lot, trash cans
24 County of Jefferson Jefferson County Texas Willow Marsh Bayou Paddling Trail Launch Jefferson $63,961 $0 New 4.0 mile paddling trail, ADA ramps, kayak/canoe launch and take out facilities, concrete curbs, signs, environmental survey
24 Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 23 Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 23 Trail Fort Bend $199,976 $0 New 1.14 mile concrete trail, signs, ADA ramps, crosswalks
23 City of Grand Saline William B Persons Park-Recreational Trail Van Zandt $145,360 $0 New 0.72 mile asphalt trail, erosion control, benches, trash cans, signs, parking lot
23 City of Mansfield Walnut Creek Linear Park Phase II Tarrant $200,000 $0 New 3.05 mile concrete trail, foot bridge, signs, erosion control
23 City of McAllen Morris Park Trail Development Hidalgo $200,000 $0 New 0.75 mile decomposed granite trail, signs, handicap ramps, lighting, seating/pullouts,
23 City of Sachse Sachse Highline Hike and Bike Trail Dallas $194,644 $0 New 0.72 mile concrete trail
23 Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council The Scenic East Lubbock Gateway Walking Trail Lubbock $53,426 $0 New 0.87 mile trail, signs, benches, fencing
22 City of Cleveland Cleveland Municipal Park Trail Liberty $159,138 $0 New 0.5 mile decomposed granite trail, signage, bridges, benches,
21 City of Eastland Park Hill Recreation Trails System Eastland $194,806 $0 Renovation of existing trails, new 0.5 mile trail, signs, parking lots, pavilion, restroom, solar lighting system,
21 City of Harlingen Harlingen Hometown Heroes Trail Expansion Cameron $200,000 $0 New 1.13 mile decomposed granite trail, renovation of existing trail, parking lot, trailhead, signs, bridges, benches, trash cans, bird blind repair
21 City of Liberty City of Liberty Municipal Park Walking Trail Liberty $97,155 $0 Renovate existing 2.0 mile asphalt trail, signs, water fountain, benches, trash cans
21 City of Mission Mission Hike and Bike Trail Extension Bridge Hidalgo $105,600 $0 50' long Foot bridge, embankments, erosion control
21 City of Nocona Blue Mound Park Montague $163,736 $0 New 0.72 mile concrete trail, shade shelters, water fountain, fitness station, lighting, benches, signs
21 City of Whitehouse Gardenview Park Recreational Trail Smith $101,888 $0 New 0.38 mile concrete trail, erosion control, culverts, benches, trash cans, signs
19 Village of Vinton Vinton Hills Trail El Paso $200,000 $0 New 0.48 mile concrete trail, signs, benches, water fountain
18 City of Omaha Omaha City Park Morris $104,287 $0 New 0.38 mile concrete trail, shade shelters, water fountain, fitness station, lighting, benches, signs, trash cans
18 San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy Trails through Texas History Harris $144,060 $0 New 0.9 mile trails, signs, bridges, resource surveys, Conservation Intern
18 Zavala County Batesville Leona Park Trail Zavala $107,520 $0 New 0.5 mile asphalt trail, signs, fitness stations, benches, metal edging, trash cans
17 City of Cedar Hill Lake Ridge Parkway Hike and Bike Trail Dallas $80,767 $0 Trail amenities ,Bike Racks, signs, trailhead kiosk, crosswalk signs, 911 signs, benches
17 City of Elkhart Elkhart City Park Anderson $107,914 $0 New 0.4 mile concrete trail, trail shade shelter, lighting, water fountain, signs, fitness station, benches
17 City of Floresville Floresville Trail Improvements Wilson $196,962 $0 Renovation of existing 1.22 mile trail, restroom, signs, benches, trash cans
17 City of Waxahachie MKT Trestle Renovation and Trail Connection Ellis $200,000 $0 New 0.38 mile decomposed granite trail, trestle bridge renovation, signs
16 City of Gun Barrel Silver leaf Trail Henderson $84,605 $0 New 0.17 mile concrete trail, bridges, benches, shade shelters, trash cans, signs
15 City of Rio Grande City Fordyce Hike and Bike Trails Starr $200,000 $0 Renovate 5.6 mile of existing trail, parking lot, restroom, signs, accessible river overlooks
13 Jim Wells County Rancho Alegre Walking Trail and Healthy Living Jim Wells $159,447 $0 New 0.33 mile decomposed granite trail, sign, playground equipment, fencing, restrooms, exercise stations
12 City of Mount Vernon Little Creek Park Walking Trail Franklin $124,039 $0 New 0.33 mile concrete trail, bridge, water fountain, benches, shade shelter, fitness station, signs, trash receptacles, lighting,
12 City of Weatherford, Texas Town Creek Hike and Bike Trail Expansion Parker $200,000 $0 Trail amenities: Trail head restroom, parking lot and restrooms, lighting
11 City of Corrigan Corrigan City Park Polk $40,158 $0 New 0.17 mile concrete trail, signs, landscape, fitness stations, water fountain
Total Requests $11,909,111    
Total Recommended $2,376,733  
  • Bold = Motorized Request
  • ** = Contingently Funded