Parks and Trails Committee Faces a Barrage of Questions
on August 13
Pat Luscombe expressed strong opinions about the conduct of the Committee but predicated them with, "All comments are being made without prejudice". She went on to say that, "Based on my experiences, I understand the real hesitance of others to come forward ... residents distrust the work of this Committee."
Luscombe questioned the purpose of the Copway part of the trail being used as a beach access and suggested that taxpayers' money was being wasted on the project. It is expected the section will cost $40,000. She also raised the issue of trail having to cross Bruce Road 13, a road she viewed as being a busy thoroughfare comparing it to the Rail Trail crossing on Hwy 21 near Highberry Farms. "This is a recipe for disaster," she said.
Bruce Alexander, President of the Rail Trail organization, felt that, "There are lots of informal areas that people use that need to formalized and posted with signage and brought up to standard. Copway will give the community a link to the beach."
According to Mike Myatt, Director of Community Services and committee member of Parks and Trails, informed the meeting that letters had been sent to 200 residents in the area that would be affected by the Copway initiative and approximately only 15 had replied.
Town Council representative on the Committee, Vice-Deputy Mayor Doug Gowanlock expressed that, "We have talked about beach access at many meetings and we made a commitment as a Council to ensure recreation and beach access to residents."
Alexander said however, "It is our responsibility to consider the wishes of the town and residents, particularly regarding safety and, therefore, it is our responsiblity to put measures in place." He also explained that, "Most of our experience is that for the most part, once the Trail is up and running, there is very little opposition."
As a result of Harold Sutherland Construction doing the preliminary groundwork for the Wal-Mart develop, the Rail Trail behind the developing site has been closed to accommodate the many trucks hauling gravel from the pit behind the Rail Trail to the developing site. Mike Myatt was questioned as to whether or not Sutherland would be restoring the trail and he explained that a verbal agreement had been negotiated although there was nothing in writing. Sutherland has, in fact, taken out the line of fencing and has encroached on county land. Myatt explained that, "We came in late asking for a contribution (from Sutherland) but he has done previous sections of the Trail with stone dust and he should come forward when it comes time to restore this section."
The Trail link behind the Wal-Mart development has been deemed the
most expensive at $125,000. The Gore Drain ditch is the next priority
for the Advisory Committee for 2009 - 2010. The Rotary Club has
committed a substantial donation and, therefore, wants to make sure that
the Drain is a high priority. The cost however is expected to be