HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Money for Hopewell-Lawrence trail saved at 11th hour

By Frank Mustac, Special Writer
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP — Some last-minute scrambling had to be performed so that hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money would not be lost to help construct a remaining portion of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail in the township.
At the 11th hour, a resolution was added to the July 27 meeting agenda of the Hopewell Township Committee, authorizing an agreement between the township and the nonprofit Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation.
The agreement allows the township to access grant money awarded to the trail corporation to finance construction of a segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail from Pennington-Rocky Hill Road to Carter Road.
Earlier in July, a company called EarthWorks Inc. of Farmingdale, New Jersey, won the bid to build the portion of trail. The Township Committee on July 27 was set to vote on awarding the contract to EarthWorks, but could not do so because no prior agreement existed between the township and the trail corporation about the grant.
So July 27, the Township Committee meeting agenda was changed so committee members could approve the agreement with the trail corporation before it approved the construction contract.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission awarded $250,000 to the trail corporation. A grant awarded to Hopewell Township by the New Jersey Department of Transportation also will be used to finance the trail construction.
The co-presidents of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation, Eleanor Horne and Becky Taylor, said there was a danger of losing more than $300,000 from the DOT if township officials had not acted so quickly.
Both women spoke at the July 27 Township Committee meeting, in part, to thank committee members and Paul Pogorzelski, township administrator and engineer, for their efforts. 