Heritage Trail wins $1.5 million from two sources in one day

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MIDDLETOWN – The Heritage Trail that runs from Monroe to Goshen got a significant shot in the arm from two sources on Thursday.
The Orange County Industrial Development Agency approved allocating up
to $1 million for the vendors to extend the walking and bike path.
The state’s regional economic development grants awarded across the Mid-Hudson Valley will kick in $500,000 for the project.
IDA Associate Executive Director Laurie Villasuso said when constructed, the extended path will be a significant amenity for the county.
“For residents of the area, it is certainly a highly utilized feature in the existing part of the trail, so it will be something to connect parts of Orange County together,” Villasuso said.
Benefits would also include in transportation where people want to connect to buses or trains and could not cross city streets, she said.
Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano said the $500,000 from the state will serve as seed money to extend the trail.
“We are glad that they bought in; that’s the key on these projects is that they see the benefits to it. They are saying to the city, ‘let’s move it along’,” DeStefano said.
The upgrades to the existing portion of the trail and construction of
the extension would cost some $7 million.