NORTH HURON – Director of Public Works Jamie McCarthy spoke to North Huron council on Monday night about updating the current snowmobile trail agreements.
McCarthy noted that the current agreement is set to expire, updates to the insurance policies are required, and the addition of newly-owned property, commonly referred to as the Bell Lot, needs to have a land-use agreement.
McCarthy’s told council the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) District 9 utilizes two sections of North Huron’s trails for recreational purposes.
“The first section is the Blyth Greenway Trail. The second is property recently acquired through a joint purchase agreement by the Municipality of Central Huron and the Township of North Huron. This property is commonly referred to as the Bell Lot and was acquired by the two municipalities to secure groundwater rights for the inactive Blyth-Hullett Landfill site.”
North Huron entered into the current agreement with the OFSC in 2016 to use the trail that runs through Blyth. This agreement is expiring (bylaw 92-2016), and McCarthy recommended this agreement, with updates, be renewed for a two-year term.
The language has been updated to allow the club to use part of the trail for their groomed system in the winter.
A memorandum of understanding that has been in place since 2016 will remain in place. The directive establishes insurance requirements and transfers liability to the snowmobile club.
“As mentioned, the two agreements allow use of the said portion of the Greenway Trail and the Bell Lot for the purpose of allowing valid, insured, permitted and licensed snowmobiles and their riders to engage in snowmobile activities along the trail near and in Blyth,” McCarthy said. “The right to use the trail includes the right and obligation of District 9 to enter, establish, groom, maintain and post all required signage.”
The Bell Lot agreement still needs to be formalized and brought back to council, which will happen at the Jan. 17 regular council meeting.
McCarthy noted that “the agreement would not take effect until all parties have signed.”
“Staff will monitor the agreements and discuss with the local snowmobile club any updates that may be needed during the term of the agreement,” she said. “Staff will bring the changes, if any, back to council for approval.”
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times