The city of New London is set to hire a firm to design plans for extending the Newton Blackmour State Trail into Pfeifer Park. Ayres Associates Inc. of Ashwaubenon would create a 30 percent design plan, which is a preliminary drawing that provides enough information on the vision that the city could apply for a state grant. The preferred route for the trail extension project could cost $920,309 to plan and construct, according to an estimate Ayres Associates provided the city. To bring down that cost, the city of New London would apply for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant. The grant helps local government units fund outdoor recreational projects. The Stewardship Grant typically covers 50 percent of project costs. The application deadline is May 1. If the grant were awarded, the earliest the city could break ground on the trail extension would be 2020 or 2021. Built on a former rail corridor, the 22-mile Newton Blackmour State Trail passes through New London, Shiocton, Black Creek and Seymour. The trail’s east end links to the Duck Creek Trail, which continues to Green Bay.