February 12, 2017 | Paula Crerar | 2 Comments The Friends of Medfield Rail Trail have made impressive advancements over the last months. Christian Donner presented the Bay Colony Rail Trail Study Committee’s report to the Medfield selectmen at their December 20 meeting. The selectmen commended the report, saying it was very well researched and thorough. The selectmen encouraged Christian and the Friends of the Medfield Rail Trail to continue their efforts to develop the rail trail and to work with them on a few open issues. Selectman Mike Marcucci summarized his views of study and the rail trail in his notes. You can also watch a video of that meeting here. In a subsequent meeting on February 7, the selectmen supported a two-year, two-step process for the rail trail, with negotiation of the lease with the MBTA for the rail trail parcels in 2017 (see section 6.2 of the report for details on the MBTA lease). Once the parcels are leased, plans for construction of the rail trail can begin. The selectmen have expressed concerns (see Mike Marcucci’s notes) about covering MBTA indemnities for environmental liabilities. To help resolve this issue, we’ve coordinated conversations between the Medfield selectmen and officials from other towns who have successfully addressed the concern. There are significant steps that need to be completed before the negotiation of the lease will take place, including: Commission a design and feasibility study for the Medfield rail trail, conducted by a professional firm with experience in civil engineering and environmental issues. Christian and I have a proposal from a company who has had experience developing these studies for other rail trail projects. The Bay Colony Rail Trail Association has offered a grant that should fund most of the expense for the report. Include the rail trail project as a Warrant article (waiting to hear from town officials for confirmation) so that it can be discussed in the Town Meeting on April 24. The progress and support are encouraging. To help us continue our efforts, please spread the word about the rail trail to your friends and neighbors and donate today.