Some Lavington residents are hiking up efforts to build a recreational opportunity through the community, while creating a safer route for kids.
A multi-use trail is being proposed on Learmouth Road.
“It’s a narrow road with some blind corners,” said Sheri Austin, Lavington Recreation co-ordinator, who pitched the idea to Coldstream council Monday.
“It’s scary to let our kids walk or bike along that road.”
That concern has been escalated with recent bus changes within the school district.
“School children along Learmouth now have to walk Learmouth if they live within 2.4 kilometres of the school,” said Austin.
Over the past two years, Austin says Lavington Recreation and residents have been submitting letters, via the Official Community Plan, stating that there is a strong desire for a multi-use path on the stretch of road.
Austin points out that the province is investing $3.61 million in BikeBC this year to expand and build new cycling lanes, trails, and paths.
But those funds are part of a cost-sharing plan, explains Mayor Jim Garlick.
“It’s a 50/50 grant. So you have to have a budget available to do that.”
But there are gas tax funds available for such projects.
The problem with this project, is there are a number of land acquisitions that would need to be made.
“It (gas tax) is available to do the work, the land it’s not available for,” said Garlick.
Austin says she has already spoken to Tolko, which has not only offered its land but even offered to supply workers and equipment to work on the portion of the trail.
She also pointed to the recently constructed Kidston pathway.
“I think it would be fabulous if Lavington has one too.”
But that project took a lot longer to come to life.
“The Kidston path was really about a six-year project,” said Coun. Richard Enns.
“There was a different problem with every single section. But it all started how you’ve started it.”
Austin also requested that Coldstream consider purchasing a 103-acre property for sale above Whisper Ridge for $395,000.
“This property already has an extensive trail system,” she said. “It would be a great acquisition.”
Garlick pointed out that if such a purchase were to be made, it would be subject to a borrowing referendum.
“We don’t have the cash on hand. It’s got to be agreed upon by the majority of voters.”
Lavington Recreation is a group which was formed approximately three years ago with a need for kids programming in the area.
“I wanted to start a soccer program for kids in Lavington,” said Austin. “
We started out with about 45 kids and last year we had 102 kids register.”