Building 15.5 kms of the Trans Canada Trail from Lacombe to Ponoka County border won’t go ahead any time soon after Lacombe County hit a roadblock trying to buy land from landowners.
Lacombe County Manager of Operations Phil Lodermeir told council at its regular meeting Aug. 25, that local landowners refused to sell the right-of-way to make way for the trail along the C & E Trail.
“We really want to get this trail built but we’re not having success getting landowners to sell us land.”
The county could change the original route for the trail but it would increase the original $909,734 price tag to $2.1 million. The county received three grants totaling $695,000 and will lose the grants.
Coun. Dana Kreil asked if the money could be used in other areas for trails around the county. “If the money is available I hate to send it back.”
Lodermeir pointed out, however, that if the county spends the money they have to match the funds.
“This will free up money in tough times,” said Coun. Kreil.
Coun. Brenda Knight said she was in favour of cancelling the trail project.
“We are in a bit of a need versus want situation in Alberta. Grants cost money and sometimes gifts cost you more than what you got for the gift. The trail is a wonderful amenity. There is always the future.”
Reeve Paula Law said the entire trail didn’t have to be paved and the county should proceed.
“We will lose $700,000 [grant]. I struggle with closing the door. Nothing says it [trail] has to be paved.”
Council voted in favour of administration’s recommendation to remove the trail project from the 2016 construction schedule. Reeve Law voted against the motion.
Flagpole for Mirror
Mirror will get a new flagpole and fire departments can request flags as well after Lacombe County council voted in favour of the expense.
The Mirror and District Museum society asked the county for a new flagpole. It will cost the county $2,200.
Coun. Rod McDermand also put in a request to the county for a flag for the Alix Fire Department.
“Flags are important in this world.”
“You should expect other fire departments to follow suit,” said County Commissioner Terry Hager, adding that if the county approves the cost of a flag for the Alix Fire Department other fire departments will likely put in similar requests.
Council approved the installation of a flagpole for Mirror but they will have to provide the ongoing upkeep.
Council also voted in favour of providing one flagpole to each Lacombe County fire department if requested by the fire department.
Coun. Ken Wigmore voted against the motion.