Bike trail funding is on a roll
Just as more Morgan City residents are using bicycles for exercise during COVID-19 restrictions, the city government got some good news about its bike trail plans.
The state of Louisiana, through Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s office, announced that it is awarding state dollars towards two of the three grants submitted last year towards the Bike Morgan City project.
Funds have already been awarded for the first phase of the plan, and now two more phases are being funded through the Louisiana Recreational Trails program, the H&B Young Foundation, and the city of Morgan City. Construction should begin soon on a total of three phases, according to St. Mary Excel.
The foundation initiated the health and wellness community biking project with funds to design a comprehensive bike trail. Its first donation of $12,000 for the project ($10,000 for the plan and $2,000 for trail posted riding guidelines) is reaping great returns in community improvement.
“Its further commitment of $90,000 will continue the momentum towards building a better community,” St. Mary Excel said in a news release. “The Young Foundation and its commitment to Morgan City shows how community-impacted philanthropy contributes to the quality of life enjoyed by residents.”
“It’s something to add to Morgan City’s offerings to the public,” said H&B Young Foundation President Brenda Ayo.
The project is one of the improvements envisioned in an Urban Land Institute study, commissioned by St. Mary Excel, of development opportunities in Morgan City and Berwick.
“This study will cross over administrations,” said Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi in a text message. “It has a clearly defined path for our communities.
“It is extremely important we act on the suggestions in order for this not to become just another study.
“Improving Quality of Life, re-branding our economy and promoting our culture are very attainable goals.”
The city of Morgan City also committed to the trail development from Fig Street to La. 70 which is halfway complete. Ochsner St. Mary will fund bicycle racks to be placed around the area to increase the use of bikes for short errands. St. Mary Excel will continue its grant writing efforts.
For the 2018 first phase, a Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana grant was submitted and approved in which trail development would be completed between Lakeside Subdivision and the Cajun Coast Visitors’ and Convention Bureau along the Auburn levee.
In 2019, the H&B Young Foundation committed a total of $90,000 of financial support for the three grants that were submitted. This financial support allowed St. Mary Excel to submit three grants through city of Morgan City, the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the St. Mary Parish Levee District.
These grants will continue the bike trail from the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau along the levee, behind David Drive and to the intersection of La. 70. $60,000 of that commitment will be used to fund the two awarded grants and the other $30,000 will be banked to re-apply for the third grant in the spring of 2020.
Grant authorities are encouraging St. Mary Excel to keep the third request for the 2020 funding cycle. St. Mary Excel plans to do so and is also submitting a fourth grant by July 1 to connect downtown Morgan City to the trail.
The bike trail plan has been publicly displayed at the Artist’s Guild Unlimited, Atchafalaya 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness Center, Core Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, and Ochsner St. Mary.
The Young Foundation and its commitment to Morgan City is a shining example of community impacted philanthropy contributing to the quality of life enjoyed by residents. The foundation has led the biking project work.