A lack of adequate maintenance of Lumby’s Salmon Trail has led the village to consider more dedicated staffing for its parks department.
Staff were directed to address issues related to the Salmon Trail and Park at an October strategic priorities meeting.
“The issues identified were the safety of the walking trail surface, the integrity of the existing split rail fencing and structural strength and safety of the bridges,” reads a Nov. 15 memo by operations manager Roger Huston to village council.
Staff will spend two weeks making the trail more accessible next spring, once the freshet has subsided.
For the remaining two weeks of 2020, staff will be responding to complaints from the public regarding the trail and will do a weekly walk-through to look for glaring issues.
According to the memo, staff realized the severity of structural issues along the Salmon Trail in 2019-20. An engineer was hired to assess all the bridges along the trail, and found that a lack of year-round maintenance had led to failing deck boards and handrails.
“With more parks and trails being added to the asset pool, labour has struggled to keep up with the increased maintenance required,” Huston’s memo states.
The village doesn’t have a dedicated employee for its parks department, and the memo advises that the village consider hiring one or more employees devoted to Lumby parks and cemetery maintenance for the spring, summer and fall months.
“This is especially important now that Lumby will be acquiring a further two kilometres of new Salmon Trail in 2021,” Huston’s memo states, adding the position could start out as temporary full-time from March to November and then potentially be expanded to include the winter months.
The cost of hiring a worker to maintain the trail and cemetery is estimated at just over $37,000 annually.
“Presently, a surplus of approximately 900 hours is available from the elimination of a position in the office that could be offset for this budget,” the memo states. “A remaining 473 hours or $12,867.02 would need to be found.”
A two-kilometre extension of the Salmon Trail is expected to be completed by March 2021.