He said the other 20 percent, needed for engineering costs, will be the township's responsibility.
That grant is available through PennDOT's Transportation Alternative Program. He indicated the grants are awarded locally by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.
Soriano is not sure when the township will find out if it wins the grant, but it could be by late June. He said if it doesn't win the grant until autumn, those improvements might not be made until the spring of 2015.
Grant requests for parks
Commissioners also authorized Soriano to apply for two state grants aimed at improving parks.
One grant would help pay to develop a master plan for Laubach Park in eastern Salisbury, similar to one done several years ago in Lindberg Park in western Salisbury.
The Lindberg Park plan led to multi-million-dollar improvements being done over a 10-year-period. A perimeter trail will be installed around that 20-acre park this year.
The other grant being sought would help to install a new network of handicapped accessible pathways within Lindberg Park, along with restoring vegetation to beautify the park.
Soriano said grant requests for both projects will be submitted by April 16 to the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which should award grants by late fall.
He said developing a master plan for Laubach Park will involve hiring a consultant, forming a committee, encouraging resident participation and holding public hearings. He said it takes about eight months to develop such a plan. `
"A master site plan is a picture of what you want the park to be," said Soriano. "You analyze existing uses and future uses of that park."
He said Laubach currently has amenities that are not handicapped accessible, a baseball field that's also a football field and a pond that probably needs to be upgraded.
The manager said developing that master plan will cost $48,000 to $50,000. He said the state will provide half the money and the township must provide the rest.
He said the trail improvements in Lindberg Park will cost about $340,000. That state grant also would cover half that cost and the township would be responsible for the other half.
"We are exploring partners for this," said Soriano. "We would like to reach out to businesses and institutions in our township that are willing to fund this. We are meeting with the [Lehigh Valley] Hospital on Monday. Hopefully they will help us in constructing these trails because it does lead to a healthy community."