Isle of Wight ATV trail receives more grant funds

Published 7:55 pm Monday, September 26, 2022

Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Federal Highway Administration will give Isle of Wight County an additional $103,000 to build an all-terrain vehicle trail at Heritage Park.

The county is in the process of soliciting construction bids for the proposed trail, which is to include a roughly 800-foot practice loop, a 1,800-foot beginner loop and 2,250 feet of 4-foot-wide natural surface trail, as well as a parking lot.

The project had previously received matching grants of $78,200 for engineering work and $324,918.60 for construction. According to Parks and Recreation Director David Smith, the grants are intended to fund 80% of the project’s cost, with the county funding the remaining 20%.

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The extra $103,068.25 in grant funds the DCR announced Sept. 26 “were available as a result of a lack of applicants for motorized Recreational Trails,” Smith said. “DCR is passing these available funds due to their understanding that construction labor and material costs have significantly increased and are looking to help offset these costs.”

The new money also comes with an 80-20 match requirement, making the project’s new estimated total cost just over $632,700 and the county’s required match for all three grants just over $126,500.

Plans for the trail date to 2015 when the county received approval for a matching federal grant administered at the state level. Those plans stalled in 2017 when the Trump administration froze all federally funded DCR projects that didn’t already have shovels in the ground. The county reapplied for the grant in 2019.

Any grant money or portion of the county’s matching funds that go unused for the trail “will not need to be recovered by DCR,” Smith said.

The county is looking to begin construction this fall and complete the trail in six to eight months.