City councillor Scott Nelson said the City is in “massive overdrive” to proceed with a plan for Williams Lake that would see new trails, access to beaches and a boat launch.
At the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Sept. 25, council prioritized finding grant funding sources, laying out the trail network system including up to and along two beaches at the southwest end of the lake, with a designed cantilever bridge back to it and fencing to stop people from going onto the railway tracks.
“We also want a larger boat launch up to 200 feet-wide designed, as well as a cantilever bridge over to Scout Island and to the Stampede Grounds and a parking lot that has lighting,” Nelson said Wednesday.
Last week council announced the City had purchased the RC Cotton site for $75,000 which would be used as part of the recreation plan.
At the COW meeting, director of development Leah Hartley said the development of a recreation trail would be funded in part through a community recreation grant offered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, pending approval of the construction schedule.
The term of the grant has been extended to the end of provincial fiscal year in March 2019, Hartley noted in a report to council, noting the City’s approved 2018 capital budget includes $604,250 in total assigned to trail development, including environmental studies, design and engineering, permits and construction.
“It’s very exciting,” Nelson said Wednesday as he showed the Tribune one of the beaches on the southwest side of the lake he hopes the new trail network will give people access to.
“We are pushing the balls toward making this thing a big, bold community tourist attraction and fantastic use for linking into our parks master plan all the trail network in that area.”
At the meeting Hartley said the estimated cost of building just one 60-metre bridge from the RC Cotton site to Scout Island is more than $600,000.
Council, however, will deal with the RC Cotton waterfront trail project again as an agenda item at its regular council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.