Sledders revving up for 7 km of new trails
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | January 4, 2018
If the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association (HCSA) gets its way, sledders may have 7.1 km of new trails in Minden Hills in the future.
The association has applied to the township for permission to build four sections of trails on various, original township road allowances. There’ll be a public meeting in future to discuss the plan.
HCSA director Jim Richert said the idea came about because landowners have asked for some trails to be closed or moved off municipal roads as much as practical. Richert said it’ll be good for the local economy as sledders could better access downtown and surrounding businesses. The HCSA wants to construct four unique branches using the following unopened road allowances:
• between lots 5 and 6 of Anson, between Fleming Road and Scotch Line Road – 4km
• between Concession ‘A’ and Lot 1 of Minden, between Scotch Line Road and Plantation Road –4km
• between Concession 8 and 9 of Minden, between Plantation Road and Twelve Mile Lake Road -2.3km
• between Concession 12 and 13 of Snowdon, between the Hydro corridor and Kendrick Creek Lane - .4km
Minden Hills planner Ian Clendening said they had received numerous comments on the proposal, with no one saying ‘no’ but identifying several issues. They included trails on wetlands. Clendening said he’s not worried about the impact of snowmobiles on wetlands but doesn’t want quad users to think they can access the trails in spring, summer or fall. They’re still waiting to hear from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Foresty as well. Coun. Pam Sayne wondered about signage indicating ‘winter use only.’
Adjacent property owners also have concerns about trespassing, safety, light, noise and other site specific issues, One suggested vegetation screening where they live. Another said vegetation needed to be cleaned out for better visibility. The planner said if council is interested, he’ll go back to the HCSA to talk about entrance points, trail closings at the end of the year, and the extent of survey work required.
“Additionally, there are various stakeholders who have already shown interest and should be engaged as an important part of this process. As such, in addition to soliciting further input, staff would like to allow for an opportunity for at least one open house-style event to solicit the public’s feedback at such point as the preliminary design considerations have been addressed,” Clendenning said in a written report.
He noted the association has asked that its application fee be waived and the township commit to $14,500 is estimated survey costs.
Mayor Brent Devolin said he supported the HCSA’s application in principle but recognized it is “obviously a public process.” He added it was a bit premature to talk about council waiving fees or paying for surveys. Sayne agreed that liability and trespassing issues have to be addressed.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.