A public-private partnership has led to more recreational opportunities for visitors to Yowell Meadow Park and residents of the Lakeview subdivision.
On Sept. 27, the town officially opened and dedicated the Lake Pelham Trail Connector – a more than 1-mile bike trail that connects the back half of Yowell Meadow Park with Lakeview.
The process began in the spring of 2016, Mayor Mike Olinger said, as town planning and zoning staff met along with the Lakeview Homeowners Association to discuss a multi-use trail that would connect Yowell Meadow Park to portions of Lakeview.
The trail ties into the town-owned property at Lake Pelham, which is currently under construction for a new dam.
“These meetings led to a public-private partnership,” Olinger said.
Lakeview’s Homeowner’s Association donated $75,000 to make the project possible. Olinger also praised town staff, especially Gary Wise and his crew, for clearing and preparing the base for asphalt, which was completed last winter.
“All of this would not have happened without council and the town manager’s foresight and vision to allow this project to come to light,” Olinger said. “This project truly exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships.
Peter Reuvtin, Lakeview HOA President, said members of the association asked for more recreational opportunities during a survey the HOA distributed in 2013.
“About 2 or 3 three years ago we started talking about building walking trails owned by the HOA,” Reuvtin said. “In turn the town had similar ideas for the areas down here. We had money to invest by strengthening our financial position. The town has long term resources for maintenance and legal support.”
Reutvin, who has been president of the HOA for three years and on the board for 11, said that at first the HOA had to establish itself before contributing funds to projects such as this one.
“Back 11 years ago, we had to work to stabilize the internal operations of the HOA,” Reuvtin said. “It was a very young organization. We built up over the years to have better process infrastructure. Building up reserve funds for these types of efforts.”
Other projects the HOA are planning include a satellite park off Fairview Drive and improvements to Lakeview Circle. The HOA is also partnering with the town on a public park located near the new dam at Lake Pelham.