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Rail trail grant won't be seen

These and other safety issues also preclude the county from opening the trail to the public in sections, said Duryea.

But the group Friends of the Rail Trail"a committee of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy"thinks there are ways for the county to put shovels in the ground and open at least part of the trail.

"We think there may be a way to have folks get more immediate access to the trail before these long term funding solutions," said Dan Rain, co-chair of FORT.

"We would also like to meet with the County soon to discuss ways to lend our continued support to the help make the trail more immediately accessible."

He also said FORT would be willing to help with the grant applications and appreciates that the county is continuing the cause.

Duryea said it might not even be possible to expend the federal funds already secured, because they were assigned to complete the entire trail at a specific price. Changing the plan would affect those conditions. Spending the county's own money is also off the table, she continued.

"The county is in a serious economic crisis right now," she said. "We're trying to balance cash every day here, and we just don't even have funds to put up for the moment to be reimbursed later."

The county will also seek a $20,000 grant from the Hudson River Greenway Conservancy and will continue to seek other grant opportunities, said Duryea. ""

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