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Recreation Trail Society to disband

The South Shuswap Recreation Trail Society will consider a dissolution motion at its 2014 annual general meeting.

This comes now that the society’s goal has been partially reached and the remainder will be carried on by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Also, interest from new members in joining the society has waned. An update from society directors Dave Beattie, Judi Nerbas, Rod Williams and Jim Nerbas notes its history, stating the society was created in 2000 by citizens concerned about safety along the Blind Bay-Eagle Bay Road corridor. The paved roadway, the jurisdiction of the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), did not adequately handle pedestrian traffic, particularly in summer.

Following a review of several alternatives, the creation of a paved shoulder along the existing roadway was deemed the most cost effective solution.

After many discussions between the society, the Area C director of the CSRD and local MOTI management, a unique verbal partnership was formed, which would see the construction over 10 years of one meter of paved shoulder on each side of the road, extending 12 kilometres from Reedman Point to Sorrento. Much of the society’s funding was secured through a CSRD referendum in November 2002. The society also worked to find other sources of funds to supplement the taxpayers’ contribution.

A one-km section from Balmoral Road to Centennial Drive was completed in 2002, paid by the Ministry of Transportation. A further 0.8 km. was completed west from Centennial Drive to Sunrise Boulevard in 2005 paid for by the society and local taxpayers. In 2007, 1.2-km from the Blind Bay/Balmoral Junction along Eagle Bay Road was done. In late 2008, a section west of Sunrise Boulevard to Tamarac and Cedar Drive east on Blind Bay Road was constructed. Since 2009 the society has contacted the ministry regarding cost sharing and has been advised annually that no funding is available.

In 2011, the CSRD accessed another grant of $690,000 for the widening of that portion west of Tamarac and further west of Cedar Drive. Work on the 1.6-km west of Tamarac will carry on this month with completion predicted for mid-May.

The CSRD has made the commitment to continue the project, dependent upon funding. If the society is dissolved, its funds will be turned over on the condition that all monies are spent on the project.

 

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