The Columbia Greenway section of the rail trail which connects Northampton, MA to New Haven, CT is said to be among the most beautiful, crossing the Westfield River and winding through reconstructed downtown Westfield. This section of the trail had been hailed as a key piece of the renovation to downtown Westfield, and enjoyed support from the Mayor and city council.
Unfortunately, that seems to have changed.
Word came today via the MassBikePV listserv that the funding for continued development is in danger.:
We need support from trail advocates this week. Please come to City Hall Monday June 19 at 6 PM and/or Weds June 21 to support completion of our Rail Trail. Not a resident? Let the city know you visit to use the trail.
HELP! The City Council at the budget hearing last night was very plain in their intent to cut funding for the Columbia Greenway design effort. Very specifically voting against the Columbia Greenway. The next forum to discuss this is Monday, 6/19, at 6:00 PM Rm 315 followed on Wednesday, 6/21, with a Public Hearing at 6PM. Only strong, intense demonstration of support will change their direction.
The Engineering Department Construction budget reflects $250,000 to advance the design this year toward advertising the project in FFY19. $6.25MM is programed for construction at that time and will be lost if progress is not made. These funds were the final endowment of the previous administration with its acute commitment to Westfield, they will not be seen again. Those funds will finish the Columbia Greenway.
Please reach out to anyone and everyone whom could show up, call councilors (list and contact numbers are on City website http://www.cityofwestfield.org/122/City-Council ), advertise in the paper or digitally via whatever forum. Thank you.
New Horizons Bikes
So if you’re able, let the Westfield City Council know how important this rail trail is, and ask the to continue their support for its development.