City to exchange property for trail improvements

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
September 6th, 2012

City land is being traded for Trans Canada Trail improvements in a deal the city recently made with Roxul.

In exchange for 6,000 square meters of city owned land located beside Roxul, Roxul will give 3,000 square meters of their land to the city, said Leslie McLaren, North American government affairs and corporate communications manager for Roxul.

That land will be improved by Roxul to include a parking lot and improved trails that run between Roxul and the Kettle River by the 72nd Street bridge. Roxul will be smoothing out the steep access area that is already there, prepare a parking lot and improving the access to the trail, which runs alongside the river and through to Christina Lake.

“Additionally we will look to potentially add trail map signage in the lot, and plant trees along the lot line at the back of our factory to provide a more enjoyable trail experience,” said McLaren in an email interview with the Boundary Sentinel. “Roxul’s commitment to this project is targeted for completion late 2012.”

Roxul will be taking the land they get from the city to expand on their environmental improvements to the plant. McLaren said the environmental improvements are part of a continual evaluation of environmental best practices. They have invested $75 million in the Grand Forks facility since 1999.

“We continually evaluate best practices, and work to identify measures that will help to improve local air quality and resource efficiencies,” said McLaren.

“It’s a good deal for us,”said Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor. “What we’re getting is cleaner air and better access to the Trans Canada Trail.”

While McLaren would not get into the details of their new environmental project, Taylor said it is supposed to further improve the quality of the steam coming out of the stack.

“This could be setting a standard for all plants worldwide,” said Taylor.

“(Roxul) has offered more than what we negotiated and we are pleased they responded to our needs.”

Trail society sees deal as a great opportunity

Chris Moslin of the Grand Forks Community Trail Society is thrilled with the deal.

“We are quite delighted with it and see it as a great opportunity for the city and Roxul to get together and I hope to see more partnerships,” said Moslin, who also appreciated that Roxul included the trail society in their planning for the site.

Moslin also sees this improvement as another positive step toward the society’s goal of having the 17 km portion of the trail between Grand Forks and Christina Lake eventually paved. A project the society is currently exploring funding options for.

“We envisioned (this location) as a trail head for the Christina Lake Trans Canada Trail,” said Moslin. “When it is paved we want to encourage people to use it as an alternative route and more accessible to a wide variety of users.”

He said the Trans Canada Trail encourages a “synergy” created between the trail system and industry.

“The Trans Canada Trail mandates that we use industrial areas too and this is a really good example of that.”


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