Grand Forks gives blessing to trails project

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
December 30th, 2010

City council approved the plans for a trails information kiosk, benches and signs to be completed in 2011 by the Grand Forks Trails Society at their last meeting. The grant was written by George Longden and Chris Moslin in September, and the group was notified that they were awarded $50,000 in early December.  Longden was at council on Dec. 20 to ask permission to build the plaza and install the benches, and also for a supporting letter to accompany their application to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways (MOTH).  “MOTH controls access and signage along all provincial highways so before any sign work can be put out to tender we need written permission from them,” said Longden. “My goal is to have the kiosk maintenance free so the base will be concrete.”  According to Longden, the money will be spent on benches, waste receptacles, major signage at Highway 3, and a small plaza with a kiosk and the refurbished tool shed currently located on the trail. The plaza will be located at Kettle River Drive across from the Black Train Bridge.  The kiosk will feature a map of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) in Grand Forks (<—you are here) and show the interface to the city trails, explained Longden. Additional features of the kiosk could be historical photos, a list of funding sources and other features to be determined. The funding can only be spent on the TCT (Old CPR right of way from Highway 3 to Kettle River Drive and along Kettle River Drive to City Park) and must be spent by March 2011.  Councillor Gene Robert raised concerns about the potential for vandalism.  “(The tool shed) is actually on the right-of-way now and it’s managed to survive from 1913 to the present date. The intent is to restore it to as original as possible. I expect it will be spray bombed,” said Longden. “All we can do is have some CPR red at hand so that if that does happen we can cover it up quickly.”

Council voted to provide letters of support to the society for the project and agreed to allow the placement of the kiosk and benches on city property.  

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