NORTH PERTH – During the Aug. 23 meeting of council, Jeff Newell, manager of facilities, reported that North Perth was successful in securing a grant through the province from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) COVID Stream Local Government Intake for improvements to the North Perth Trail System.
“We were successful in receiving the grant for a sum of $167,726.00,” he said. “Eighty per cent from the Government of Canada as well as 20 per cent from the Province. The work is to begin by Sept. 30 and be completed by Dec. 31.”
Newell said work will begin soon on the expansion of the trail system in the north part near Gowanstown and there will also be repairs taking place at two of the bridges that are on the existing trail. A washroom will also be added to the trail.
According to the report from Newell, it is anticipated the improvements will result in improved trail safety and flow, increased recreational experience for trail users, increased opportunity for active transportation, decreased municipal risk and liability, and reduced user complaints.
Coun. Terry Seiler asked for an update on the status of the Gowanstown trail.
“Work is still being done to secure a portion of the Gowanstown trail that is currently owned by two different (owners) – one is a corporation, one is an individual,” said Newell. “We still need to secure the property there to put a trail through that area. However, we can do some work on the trail north of that area to begin the trail from Gowanstown.”
“So right now there is still work being done on trying to secure that property.”
Coun. Allan Rothwell asked if there was an anticipated timeframe for securing the land from the property owners and if there was an end date that the government grant had to be utilized.
“There is an end date but my understanding is that you can apply for an extension… if you cannot use all the funds specified in this situation for that one section of trail,” said Newell. “My understanding is that even the consulting work for the bridges will take up a large portion of that funding available so I don’t anticipate that there will be any problem with us spending that entire amount.”
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner