Clearwater town council has put a higher priority on extending the multi-use trail that runs along the south side of Murtle Crescent across from Buy-Low. The extension would run along Murtle Crescent from Helmcken to the junction with Park Drive, and then south along Park to Robson Street.
The extension would consist of segments five and six of a proposed multi-use trail that eventually will run from Clearwater Shopping Centre to the hospital.
During their March 1 meeting, councillors voted to approach Wells Gray Community Forest for permission to realign the scope of a grant fund approved for clearing and preparation of sub-grade on the Park Drive multi-use path to instead the two segments.
Cost of the project was estimated at about $47,000. The District will also apply to the community forest for $15,000 to top up the remaining grant funds of $33,000 to complete the project.
In addition, Council voted to support an application to the Build Canada Fund for money to complete the Park Drive multi-use pathway.
Also approved was a grant application to the Farm Credit Corporation for $25,000 in conjunction with a grant application for matching funds to Enabling Accessibility Grant (Government of Canada) for enough money to complete an accessibility pathway at Dutch Lake Park (total $53,000).
The decisions tied in with a presentation by Jane Mastin of TRUE Consulting on the District’s trails master plan.
“There’s nothing better than lots of trails,” Mastin said. “Everybody uses them, and not just for recreation.”
The consultant commended the District’s trails task force for all the work its members did in developing the master plan.
The plan identifies about 30 trails and potential trails broken down into 82 trail segments totalling 86 km.
The segments are ranked in priority, assigned a standard, and given a cost estimate to bring them to that standard.
She noted that the plan only lists the trails as desired. It makes no commitment to buy land or actually build the trails.
Councillor Merlin Blackwell, the town’s representative on the trails task force, echoed Mastin’s praise for the committee members.
“All the people on the task force were ridiculously energetic,” he said. “They brought in skills from outside that, if we had to pay for, we never would have gotten to this point.”
Mayor John Harwood commented, “This work will make this community much more viable for many years to come.”
The trails master plan will be brought back to council on March 16 to be adopted. If approved, it will be posted on the District’s website.