Snowmobile trail to be established in Tiverton
By Liz Dadson
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Snowmobilers will be able to traverse a trail through Tiverton.
Wayne Williams, Bluewater Snowmobile Club trail co-ordinator, brought the issue to Kincardine council at its Feb. 16 meeting, urging the municipality to allow an access across the Tiverton Sports Complex field.
Wayne Williams speaks to council
The club was concerned when the municipality closed off the access there, meaning snowmobilers from Tiverton and Inverhuron had no way to reach the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails east of Tiverton, other than travelling along Highway 21.
Council was prompted to close the trail across the sports field after a complaint from a Tiverton resident that snowmobiles were travelling through the village.
"We knew nothing about this letter from a resident in Tiverton," said Williams, "or anything about a dispute in Tiverton regarding snowmobiles being driven along the sidewalks."
He said the trail in question runs across the sports field in front of the Tiverton Sports Complex to the Todd treeline to the east.
"We closed the trail, when asked to do so," said Williams. "That trail has been around for years, with no problems, but after the sports complex was built, no agreement was registered with the municipality."
He noted that the average snowmobiler has a 180-kilometre travel range and snowmobilers have a $1-billion economic impact in Ontario.
"Most snowmobilers coming through here stop in Tiverton and Inverhuron to get gas and food," said Williams. "When you cut off the trails, you're losing out on that business.
"We're asking the Municipality of Kincardine to sign an Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trail landowner permission form, allowing us a trail across the sports field in Tiverton."
"We basically have a comedy of errors here," said mayor Larry Kraemer. "The problem is there was no consultation on trail placement - it's always gone through the park in Tiverton. But we don't allow motorized vehicles on parkland. We should work with the Bluewater Snowmobile Club to resolve this issue."
"I thought the concern we were addressing was snowmobile traffic along Ross Street," said councillor Maureen Couture, "but that's a police issue. Who enforces such things as Stop signs on the trails?"
"The OPP patrol the trails," said Williams. "If a snowmobiler doesn't stop for the Stop signs on the trails, that carries the same penalty as the Highway Traffic Act."
"It just takes one person to spoil things for the rest," said councillor Mike Leggett. "Responsible trail users stick to the trails. I think a snowmobile trail is a fine use for the front portion of that property (at the sports complex). Get the trail reinstated immediately so the snowmobilers can enjoy what's left of winter."
"We can work with the snowmobile club and stake out a new route across the land that isn't parkland," said Kraemer. "And we can put up warning signs for children. Let's get on with it and get this resolved right away."
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Sunday, February 27, 2011