Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ontario Trail News - boost for Brockville Trails

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Boost for Brock Trail ask 10

Ronald Zajac, The Recorder and Times
By Ronald Zajac, Recorder and Times
Alan Medcalf rides across a bridge on the Brock Trail over Buell's Creek at Beecher Street in this file photo. (DARCY CHEEK/The Recorder and Times)
Alan Medcalf rides across a bridge on the Brock Trail over Buell's Creek at Beecher Street in this file photo. (DARCY CHEEK/The Recorder and Times)

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It has a spending commitment from the city; now the Brock Trail committee is setting out to get the rest.
City council is backing an application from the Brockville Kinsmen Club to the Ontario Trillium Foundation on behalf of the trail group, seeking $150,000 in funding for work on three components of the Brock Trail expansion project.
The project's total cost is estimated at up to $490,000.
“Certainly there was the feeling that a letter of endorsement from the City of Brockville would strengthen the (application),” said Councillor Jane Fullarton, council's representative on the citizen-run Brock Trail Committee.
The Kinsmen Club is submitting the grant application as part of a four-party effort including the trail committee, the city and the Cycling Advisory Committee.
In September, councillors decided funding for the Brock Trail will be included in the city's capital budget for the next 10 years.
The move was also aimed to boost the project's credibility as it approaches outside groups such as Trillium.
The reconstruction and extension of the Brock Trail, a walkable and cyclable green space linking larger green spaces across Brockville, ranks among the “strategic” priorities on the city's 10-year capital plan.
The city has now committed to adding $136,000 to the 2015 capital budget for the Brock Trail, as well as $15,000 for cycling infrastructure. From 2015 through 2024, the city plans to spend a total of $683,000 for the Brock Trail and $150,000 for cycling.
The total project costs for the two combined amount to $2,421,000 over that same period, with the rest of the funds coming from grants and in-kind donations.
Since most of the current council members who made that commitment were re-elected Monday, it seems unlikely to change as members get back to budget business.
The 2015 funding includes three key projects: connecting St. Lawrence Park to Cedar Street; widening a stretch of the trail and replacing a bridge between Perth and William streets; and reopening the trail segment between St. Paul Street and Henry Street, crossing Butler Creek and the Wayfare property.
In a related decision, councillors have also backed the cycling committee's attempts to secure eventual provincial funding for the design of a Brockville-wide cycling network.
The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program plans to distribute $10 million over three years to help municipalities build cycling infrastructure.
The program would require the city to match any provincial spending.
Rather than asking for a specific amount, the city motion asks that the program's criteria include a “cycling network technical audit” as an eligible expense.
Cycling advisory committee chairman Alan Medcalf said the group is now designing that cycling network. Members are not sure if they will need an external audit to vet the design they submit.
“If we want to do that, then we will be able to apply for matching funds from the province,” said Medcalf.
The cycling group hopes to have the “first chunk of implementation” of the cycling network ready by next summer, added Medcalf.
“We'd like to get the first pieces ready to go as quickly as possible,” he said.