The State Bank Trail

Phase Two of the LAFF Pathway

The State Bank Trail is coming to Fenton/Linden Area in 2023!

January 24, 2023 - An Update from the Desk of Ed Koledo, Executive Director of SLPR

As executive director for Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation (SLPR) and chair of the LAFF Pathway Inc. (LAFF) organization, I often get asked how The State Bank Trail is going, so I thought I’d provide a little history and brief update.

The State Bank Trail is in the second phase in a four-phased plan LAFF initiated with the support of Linden, Argentine Township. Fenton, and Fenton Township. The third and fourth phases are along Owen Road and Fenton Road. A map of the pathway can be found on the LAFF website.

SLPE and LAFF are coordinating the planning for the pathway for the municipalities. Construction on The State Bank Trail should begin this spring with bids going out, and the actual construction starting, in early summer. We’ll have a more detailed plan once a revised engineer’s cost estimate, and final approval from the county and state, are complete. LAFF, being the financial arm of the project, works to raise awareness and sponsorships to provide the matching dollars many grants require.

SLPR and LAFF will be at the Community Expo on March 4 & 5. We’ll have more information there so stop by and sign up to win a free bike sponsored by CycleFit.



Phase 1 in on the ground as the Argentine Trail. The State Bank Trail is phase 2 and will run along the south side of Silver Lake Road, connecting Fenton and Linden. Phases 3 & 4 will be Owen and Fenton Roads, prioritized once grant funding is initiated.

An initial attempt to complete a four-phased, approximately 10-mile plan using a millage did not pass. Polling after the vote showed support for the pathways, but not with an increase in taxes. Our municipalities along with LAFF and SLPR have continued the effort leveraging grants and fund-raising, which takes time.

Where the trail runs alongside the lake, the pathway will be built over gabion baskets (helping with some erosion problems there) or be a boardwalk. Where the trail runs alongside the road, close to the road, guardrails will be used, overall construction will follow all state/federal requirements.

At this time, we have secured over $2.5 million in funding commitments, towards a total of just over $2.9 million. Additional grants and private donations are still pending; financing for this continues, please consider donating at

We will reset plans by re-applying for those grants requiring matching funds and continue to raise funds. It will delay construction, but not stop efforts to put The State Bank Trail on the ground.

For The State Bank Trail, which runs along the south side of Silver Lake Road between Fenton and Linden, Fenton Township, Fenton, Linden, SLPR and LAFF have committed $108k as matching funds to acquire county and state grant fund allocations for $1,838,253, and LAFF Inc. has committed to raising the additional $904,290 towards the $2.9 million project. For phase 3, the municipalities, SLPR and LAFF are following a similar plan. Additional commitments will be developed for the maintenance plan.

The Argentine Trail has a three-party maintenance agreement with Argentine Township, Linden Schools, and Genesee County Road Commission. Each party has outlined their responsibilities towards maintenance of the path to provide the highest amount of savings and eliminate redundancy. The maintenance plan for The State Bank Trail, along Silver Lake Road, will likely be similar and include municipalities, the county, SLPR and coordinated-efforts by a “friends of the pathway” type group for volunteer work along the pathway. The Virkler Fund, held by the Fenton Community Foundation, has been set up for maintenance of the southern Genesee county LAFF trail. Additionally, funds raised for this portion will be set aside initially, for use down the road when repairs are needed.

Yes, 18 easements are required for The State Bank Trail along the south side of Silver Lake Road. The state requires a formal process of assessments and agreements that SLPR is currently working through in conjunction with NFE (the project engineering firm) and ORC, a real estate expert on easements. Once all 18 are agreed to and acquired, processing the easements will happen prior to construction.

LAFF Pathway Inc. has been the lead for awareness and fundraising. Signing up to volunteer or to make individual donations can easily be made through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint website at:

Your Support

The success of the LAFF Pathway depends on YOUR support.

TAX-DEDUCTABLE gifts can be made to benefit the LAFF Pathway Fund through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint at and through the link below.

The State Bank Sponsors the LAFF Trail

June 8, 2021 – The State Bank donated $500,000 to help develop a non-motorized pathway along Silver Lake Road.

On Tuesday, June 8, The State Bank presented a check to the LAFF (Linden, Argentine Township, Fenton, Fenton Township) Pathway group. With the sponsorship, this portion of the pathway will be named The State Bank Trail.

“We are so excited to say that we are here to talk about The State Bank Trail,” said Ron Justice, president and CEO of Fentura Financial and The State Bank, on Tuesday to a small crowd of community leaders and government officials in front of the Fenton business.

“When our Board of Directors heard about this opportunity to support such a valued community connection, we had to be involved,” he said. “The State Bank Trail will be a permanent reminder of our commitment to put the good back in banking by being actively engaged in developing, strengthening, and energizing the communities that we live in. Our goal is to build a great place to live, work, raise families, and where small businesses thrive.”

LAFF Pathway Inc., and Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation have worked together to develop the second phase of the pathway, which will go from the Linden city limits at Triangle Park, along Silver Lake Road and Silver Lake, and it will connect to the Fenton sidewalks in the city. After many years of negotiations and coordination with eight governmental agencies, a non-motorized pathway will connect communities.

Detailed plans run from Argentine Township, through Fenton Township and Linden to Fenton, connecting to city sidewalks and multiple parks, lakes, river-access, and local businesses in all four communities.

Phase 1, connecting Argentine Township to Linden, is complete and phase 2, from Fenton to Linden along Silver Lake Road, is a pivotal link in the trail system that has a Tier 1 priority-designation from the county.

As one of the premier businesses in our communities, it makes sense that The State Bank wants to lead in this area, Justice said.

“Opening up the efforts to put The State Bank Trail on the ground with this level of support and commitment is incredible.” said Ed Koledo, LAFF Pathway Inc. chairman and SLPR executive director. “When we put together the plan to provide matching funds for the $1.8 million in federal and state grants received by the city of Fenton and SLPR for this project, we looked at The State Bank first because of their history in our community and the level of support they’ve shown throughout the years; they were all in.”

Justice said from the first moment the LAFF Pathway group approached him, he was “very excited” about the opportunity. He took the matter to his senior staff and board. “We were all in from the very beginning,” he said.

Justice talked about the value of pathways in the community and how it’s an honor to help develop them. “I want to thank the pathways group and the municipalities and in this particular instance, Argentine, Fenton, Fenton Township and Linden for identifying us as a potential donor, approaching us and believing in us and allowing us to participate. It’s a true honor,” he said.

“The community collaboration is a major factor for the many grants that have been designated for this project,” said Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn, “All of the municipalities involved in The State Bank Trail are to be congratulated for working together in the best interest of our regional community. I want to thank Mayor Pro-Tem Pat Lockwood, Ed Koledo and the LAFF Pathway Inc. Board for their leadership to make this project a priority. I especially want to thank The State Bank for making this project a reality.”

Pat Lockwood, Fenton mayor pro-tem who’s also involved with LAFF, spoke about the “opportunities for recreational activities abound around pathways, family adventures, health improvements, the beauty of discovering all that nature offers in Michigan, the coming together of all generations on trails to adventure” and more.

She said the pathway is an example of regional recreational activities that unite municipalities with the goal of serving constituents and working with business partners to support their patrons to create a positive impact that will affect future generations.

“On behalf of the communities of Argentine Township, Fenton, Fenton Township and Linden, we are honored and deeply appreciate The State Bank for not only their financial commitment to this endeavor, but to their trust placed in connecting communities, creating positive change as citizens work toward common goals,” she said.

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