Council debates way to keep trails clear

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

McLennan town council will explore every avenue possible to keep at least a portion of the Lakeshore walking trails open this winter.

During the previous week, several councillors were approached and asked to keep the trails clear of snow. Councillor Marie-Anne Jones said she even heard a petition was circulating in town.

“They had a lot of good points,” said Jones referring to the request.

But Councillor Sue Delaurier was disappointed the matter was first not brought to council.

“One council member can’t make a decision,” she said.

“Whoa, all of a sudden there’s a petition. I would like a letter sent to the [McLennan Leisure and Recreation Society] explaining the right way to ask council.”

The “petition” was not a formal petition, but still valued by council as public input.

CAO Lorraine Willier said she received a phone call from a resident who opposed spending taxpayers’ money clearing the trails.

For her part, Delaurier was in favour.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” she said.

“We have to realize it’s an asset we have.”

But she favoured only clearing the “loop” portion of the trail.

A problem arose on what equipment to use to clear the trail. Council heard town foreman Rene Maure was concerned about the life of the sweeper which led council to consider other options.

“A side-by-side with a blade,” suggested Councillor Luc Dubrule.

Councillor Terry Calliou wanted to know cost before making a decision.

“No one knows what the cost is,” he said.

“We can’t say we’re going to do it because we don’t know what it’s going to cost.”

Councillor Dwayne Stout noted because the H.W. Fish Arena was not open this winter, there was perhaps some extra money to clear the trails. He added one position was also cut which might free some money.

The society was invited to the next meeting Jan. 11 to discuss a plan to clear the trails. Costs to clear the trials will also be determined and presented at the meeting.

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