Williams Lake city council continues to seek grant funding to develop a trail network connecting the RC Cotton site alongside Williams Lake Creek to the river valley.
During the regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26, council approved an application for up to $800,000 from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s COVID-19 resilience infrastructure stream.
A contribution of $50,000 from general revenue would be the city’s portion if the grants are approved.
Council also approved awarding the engineering design contract to TRUE Consulting Ltd.
It was made public at the regular meeting that during an in-camera meeting held Jan. 12, 2021, council voted in favour of terminating the original contract it had with ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. for the project.
“We paid for the work they did do,” Mayor Walt Cobb told the Tribune after the meeting, when asked why the contract was terminated. “They gave us a budget, but wanted more money when they realized they couldn’t deliver within the original budget.”
Allocating an additional $30,000 from general revenue was also approved, which would require early budget approval.
Mayor Walt Cobb said he would like to see the trail system tied into the Stampede Grounds and hoped the final design had not been finalized.
Responding, Hasib Nadvi, manager of planing and development, confirmed staff are looking at three different possible trail alignments and cost estimates.
One of the options would be to have a pedestrian bridge cross over to Mackenzie Avenue and then have a boardwalk to go under the CN overpass, Nadvi said.
Coun. Scott Nelson acknowledged city staff work on the project and for keeping it inline with the budget.
The RC Cotton trail and Nekw7usem pedestrian bridge are being actively used every single day, Nelson added.
“People are on that trail from early morning until late at night, so I think we want to make sure there is a good linear approach to tying in all these trail systems so it creates a smoother transition for the public.”
Coun. Jason Ryll agreed saying it’s been a ‘fantastic’ addition to the area.
“I think Scout Island can attest to some number increases in the amount of people that are down there every day.”
Nadvi said the city will also apply to Northern Initiative Development Trust for funding later in the spring.