Town Manager Jason Hoch told the Select Board on Monday that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation once again has broken the Williamstown leg of the trail off from the North Adams project, reversing a course the state agency announced this spring.
Construction of the Williamstown-North Adams bike trail has been pushed back one year, again.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization agreed to push the project back to the fiscal year 2020. The trail construction had been scheduled for fiscal year 17, was pushed to 18, and then to 10 already.
Many of the arguments at the state Department of Transportation public hearing were repeats from past hearings during which abutters on Chenaille Terrace had asserted the bike path on city land would be detrimental to their neighborhood.
The city has passed the 75 percent design milestone on the extension of the Ashulwilticook Rail Trail and is now starting the permitting process.
"The bike path is on schedule and on budget. We are at the 75 percent design phase for the project, which is a required milestone in the process. We just recently saw a draft of a notice of intent for the wetland permit, which is required for the project," Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath said.
The city is planning to piggyback the 1-mile section in North Adams informally named for the late state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, a longtime bike path proponent, onto the 2.5-mile route in Williamstown to tap into soon-to-expire federal scenic byway money.
The Board of Selectmen are wondering if it should support an application for a medical marijuana dispensary in town, knowing that a successful applicant would have an advantage gaining a license for recreational sales down the road.