Agreement signed to construct B-Line trail

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News

By Barb McKay

 

A 12-kilometre trail connecting Kincardine to Inverhuron is closer to becoming a reality.

 

After waiting roughly a year, the Kincardine Trails Association (KTA) learned that the County of Bruce agreed to allow a five-kilometre path to be constructed on the county right-of-way along Bruce Road 23 and penned an agreement to team up with the Municipality of Kincardine to develop the trail. The county will also contribute $70,000 to help construct the B-Line portion of the trail from Kincardine to Kin Huron.

 

Mayor Anne Eadie said that county roads manager Brian Knox and CAO Kelley Coulter had both toured the area where the trail will be developed and are fully behind the project. Brad Kirkconnell of the KTA said the trail will end at the southeast corner of Inverhuron Provincial Park and pedestrians and cyclists will be able to access trails in the park as well as trails in Stoney Island Provincial Park.

 

“There has been a lot of effort that has gone into scoping out the work,” he said.

 

The KTA, with municipal and county staff are examining the area where the trail will be constructed to ensure that accessibility is considered. He said Kincardine’s trail systems attract many outdoor enthusiasts from outside the municipality, but there is currently no cycling trail.

 

“It’s a big attraction, your trail system,” Eadie agreed. “It can become quite an economic driver.”

 

During its meeting last Wednesday, council voted to enter into an agreement with the county. The project may be contingent on the KTA receiving a grant through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program. The association submitted an expression of interest for funding earlier this year and the project has been short-listed. The KTA has until Nov. 27 to submit a formal application, with the agreement between the county and municipality.

 

If successful, the KTA could receive $325,000 towards the project, which is expected to cost $845,000 to complete. There is already $275,000 set aside in a Trails Bridging Reserve Fund for the project, leaving $175,000 to be picked up by the municipality.

 

Councillor Gord Campbell said he supports the project if the grant application is successful.

 

“I think it’s more important that we have roads than trails. If you get the money I have no problem, but if you want people to get exercise, people won’t even walk a few steps to get their groceries.”

 

Kirkconnell said the KTA is quite willing to fundraise and will continue to look for grant opportunities. Councillor Maureen Couture said the agreement is necessary to move the grant process forward, but the municipal contribution can be discussed further when council begins the 2016 budget process.