GREENVILLE — The city of Greenville was awarded an $8,000 grant last week from the Greenville Area Community Foundation for maintenance work along the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail.
The grant will help fund the recoating of railings along the boardwalk near Greenville Tool & Die on the south end of Greenville.
City Manager George Bosanic said the current powder coating along the railing is peeling off. He said keeping the trails, which have become immensely popular, in pristine condition is important.
However, the process of removing the pipes, sandblasting them and then re-installing them isn’t a simple one.
“The 2-inch pipe is threaded through those 6-by-6, and, I believe, also few 2-by-4s, they are at staggered lengths to increase strength,” Bosanic said. “It’s a real project to have to take those apart and we would have to put up temporary fencing in their absence, thus we would have to have poles and pipe taken away and sandblasted. So that’s going to cost a bit of money and it needs to be done.”
So city officials applied for grant funding through the foundation’s Fred and Lena Meijer fund and were notified late last month it was awarded the $8,000. The Greenville City Council accepted the funds Tuesday.
Bosanic said the money should go a long way in completely recoating a portion of the boardwalk.
“We are going to see how far $8,000 gets us, We’re hopeful we can get it all done, but we don’t know because this is the first since building the thing we’re actually doing it,” he said. “We’re optimistic we’ll get it all done, if not we’ll have to put some off for next year.”
The goal of the Fred and Lena Meijer fund is to support the trails bearing the Meijer name, so this project was perfect for the grant.
“Fortunately, the grant to the city of Greenville to recoat portions of the pipe railing along the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail is just one of the many projects the GACF has been able to support with the Lena and Fred Meijer Fund throughout the years,” said Amy O’Brien, director of grants and communications at the Greenville Area Community Foundation. “The purpose of the Meijer fund is to support trails that are named in recognition of Fred Meijer within Montcalm County. We’re happy that the Meijers had the foresight to designate a fund to help maintain such a beautiful community asset.”
The Fred Meijer Flat River Trail circles Greenville and connects to the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, which runs from Greenville through Sidney, Stanton, McBride and Edmore, where it turns east and leads through Cedar Lake and Vestaburg, entering Gratiot County. The trail then heads through Riverdale, Elwell and ends in downtown Alma.
The hope is the trail network will eventually be extended from Greenville, through Belding, to Lowell, connecting to the Fred Meijer Grand Valley Trail, which goes from Lowell to Ionia. The trail will then connect to the Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee (CIS) Trail, which is scheduled to be completed this summer. The CIS Trail will link Ionia to St. Johns in Clinton County and go on to Owosso in Shiawassee County.