New Port Richey is seeking a $200,000 state grant it could use to help create a path folks can walk, skate or ride a bike on that winds from the Cotee River Walk to the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Congress Street.
The city is applying for the grant from the Florida Recreational Trails program.
New Port Richey is proposing to match this grant with its own pot of $200,000. That money will come from Penny for Pasco and the city’s water and sewer funds, not ad valorum taxes, said City Finance Director Doug Haag.
In addition to construction of the trail, officials are proposing adding various improvements alongside it, including landscaping.
“It will also act as a neighborhood improvement project,” said Sherman Applegate, city public works director.
The proposed trail starts on its western end at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and Grand Blvd, where it connects with the Cotee River Walk along the eastern bank of the river. The plan is to continue it east on Massachusetts past Washington, Adams and Jefferson streets.
At the intersection of the Massachusetts and Madison streets, it will turn south onto Madison. It will continue south on Madison past Vermont Avenue to Kentucky Avenue. It will turn east onto Kentucky and continue east to the Morton Plant North Bay hospital, where it will connect to the wellness trail there.
It will then continue east on Kentucky Avenue past Van Buren Street, where officials are proposing adding a connecting trail onto Van Buren to the New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Center, but that would not be funded by the grant.
The trail on Kentucky would continue past Anderson Street to Davis Street.
At the intersection of Kentucky and Davis, the trail will turn north onto Davis Street. It will then continue north onto Massachusetts Avenue. It will continue east on Massachusetts to the corner of Massachusetts and Congress Street, where it ends and connects with Pasco County’s Starkey Trail.
Haag said the city probably wouldn’t learn whether it receives the grant until the Fall, but it will begin designing it before it gets approval. The city has applied for a grant for this type of trail in the past, but it didn’t get it. Haag pointed out that there is more money available for grant funding this year.
This is but phase one of New Port Richey to add trails in the city limits. It is the only project funded in this grant application, though.
Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe liked that the path would add connectivity between trails. It will also improve two neighborhoods.
“I think it’s great,” he said.