Spending money on improvements to Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail will be considered during the city’s 2021 budget deliberations.
Resident Vivian Morris wrote to council requesting that the city consider spending some of its $3.6 million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant on the trail through the bird sanctuary.
“It currently is in terrible condition with the northern end rocky, uneven and dangerous. Donated benches, tables and bird viewing platforms are falling apart due to lack of upkeep maintenance. Our beautiful walkway is rotting and miscoloured from lack of upkeep,” she wrote.
Morris said in comparison to towns with downtown foreshore trails such as Harrison Hot springs, Nakusp and New Denver, the Salmon Arm trail is a disgrace.
“It’s time to make it a gem. A concrete raised trail like the one close to town needs to be built at the north end to allow for safe walking, running and riding along with allowing for fish habitat,” she wrote. “The trail has never been used so much since the pandemic hit. It’s pandemic money so appropriate to spend on our beautiful front yard.”
Coun. Kevin Flynn referred to her letter at council’s Jan. 11 meeting.
Mayor Alan Harrison noted that the request is listed under ‘specific referrals’ in the city’s budget. Those requests will be considered along with all budget items at a special budget meeting on Jan. 18 that starts at 9 a.m., online, and generally goes for most of the day.
Flynn said he thinks it would be a great use of some of the recovery funds, although he noted there are no costs affixed yet.
“Honestly, trails have never been utilized more than they have through COVID, and I don’t think that’s going to change with or without COVID now that people have used them. I definitely think we need to look at some help for that trail network.”
Another item under specific referrals in the city’s budget is for increased operational funding to facilitate dog monitoring along the trail. That request, for $2,988, was made by the Shuswap Trail Alliance.