State money comes our way! $700,000 in Senate appropriation get the trail ready to move!

From the Anacortes American!

GCT soroptimist parkThe Guemes Channel Trail project just got a huge boost — a $700,000 appropriation in the state’s biennial budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Sunday.

“These budget dollars will fund construction of a pivotal section of the waterfront trail,” Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell said in a Monday press release. “This brings real life to an effort that has captured Anacortes’ imagination and incremental effort for over 30 years.”

gctcrowdThe funds, along with $137,500 from the Regional Transportation Organization, will pay for design, permitting and development of the trail from where it ends now near the San Juan Passage development east to Lovric’s Sea-Craft marina near Georgia Avenue.

Maxwell said the project has many stakeholders including city leaders, Sen. Kevin Ranker, Reps. Kris Lytton and Jeff Morris, Bike Alliance of Washington, the Anacortes Parks Foundation, and other trail supporters in Anacortes and Skagit County.

gct3“As an Anacortes resident, I’m excited to see a path for walkers and bikers that will connect our ferry terminal, downtown and the Tommy Thompson Trail for locals and visitors,” Lytton said.

Ranker said the trail is important not only for Anacortes residents but the region’s tourists and locals alike will enjoy the trail for years to come.

“It was great to work with Mayor Maxwell on this wonderful project,” he said.

Michele Pope, who is spearheading the Complete the Dream project on behalf of the Foundation, also gave credit to Rep. Judy Clibborn, state transporation chair, and Don Douglass and Reanne Heminway-Douglass.

GCT douglassThe Anacortes couple have put up a $25,000 matching grant for the trail this year. The grant follows a $15,000 one that was matched last year.