County council adopts Rail Trail recommendations 0
Consultant Kate Hall’s recommendations for the Haliburton County Rail Trail were adopted by councillors at a July 25 meeting.
Hall’s suggestions were the result of a public consultation process that took place over the last year.
Those recommendations include accepting the Haliburton ATV Association’s offer of $5,000 a year over five years for trail upgrades; freezing existing uses on the trail; that the ATV season run from June 1 to Nov. 30; development of community zones with reduced speed limits; development of a risk management strategy; enhancement of the Rail Trail’s web presence; and the appointment of a staff member to oversee the trail.
There are many others and the report can be read in full by searching the July 25 county council agenda on the county’s website.
There are also recommendations for upgrades that will require the county spend a considerable amount of money at some point in time.
Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid, as she has before, advocated the start date for ATVs on the trail be moved to May 1 to achieve consistency with the City of Kawartha Lakes.
While the start date in the county has traditionally been May 1, council allowed May 15 as a trial this year.
“I think we have to have a conversation about May 1 versus the middle of May,” Reid said. “This is all about tourism and I think we should be seeking alignment [with Kawartha Lakes]. We are the ones out of alignment.”
Reid wanted to vote to make May 1 the start which Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt said would be mean rescinding the just-passed motion to accept the recommendations and council agreed that decision could be make closer to the spring.
While Reid had pushed for side-by-side ATVs to be added to the list of permitted vehicles at a tourism development committee meeting earlier in the month, she said, “I understand why the side-by-sides continue to be an issue for Haliburton County.”
At the committee meeting, it was revealed that Reid had invited a representative from Bombardier to visit councillors to speak about side-by-sides, but her colleagues pointed out that council had agreed to hear no more presentations dealing with the Rail Trail, at least until Hall’s recommendations had been dealt with.
Reid had said the rep would be still be coming, bringing with him demo models, which councillors could either look at or ignore.