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TC Trail discussion pushed back a week to first meeting in April

Posted March 18, 2014

The continuation of debate on the proposed Trans Canada Trail project that was scheduled for March 31, has been pushed back to April 7 committee meeting to provide further opportunities for public input.

On March 3rd, council directed Ray Osmond, Director of Parks and Recreation to bring forward alternative route options for the gap between the 9th Line and 14th Line to assuage concerns expressed by farmers and property owners along the preferred route which follows the Town-owned abandoned CN Rail right of way. Mr. Osmond's report was expected for March 31 council meeting.

Instead, it will be tabled at a committee meeting as pro-trail advocates have requested the opportunity to address councillors.

At full build-out, the trail would traverse 26 km from Hwy 9 at Caledon to Hwy 89 into Cookstown. New Tecumseth is one of the largest broken links of the national trail network in the country.

The federal government has set up Trans Canada Trail fund to help pay for its completion as part of the planned 150th Anniversary celebrations of Confederation in 2017. And the Ontario government is also providing funds to coincide with the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

The section in question is estimated to cost $630,000 in 2014 - funding sources includes $255,000 from parks and recreation DCs; $315,000 from TCT, and $60,000 from Simcoe County. However, if the roadside is used an alternative, it would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost because of shoulder widening and paving, plus further safety measures to implement because of traffic issues. The remaining components will cost will cost $525,000 in 2015; $225,000 in 2016; $150,000 in 2017; and $50,000 in 2018. Funding sources are already identified, none of which would impact budgets or taxes.

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