By Jensen, Randy on June 17, 2020.
City council has voted to cancel the $1.75-million Six Mile Coulee Pathway project, and has asked City staff to go back to the drawing board to work with user groups to come up with an acceptable alternative to improve the safety and sustainability on the popular trail system.
The unanimous vote held during Monday’s city council meeting ends a period of protracted conflict over the proposed design of the trail improvements, which would have added limestone to the first three kilometres of the trail and stairway structures. Current users were opposed to the changes because they felt they were disruptive to the more natural state of the current trail.
While City staff said public consultations had been done on the proposed changes, councillors admitted they had not heard from anyone in the community who was actually strongly in favour of the project, despite providing that opportunity for endorsement over the past two weeks.
Coun. Blaine Hyggen sponsored the motion to rescind the $1.75 million in construction funding and have those funds returned to the general Capital Improvement Program envelope for re-allocation on future projects.
Hyggen said besides the current trail user groups who were opposed to the project, he had also heard from others, like himself, who were opposed for financial reasons. He said it was a shame the $136,000 already spent on the design phase of the project could not have been saved as well.
“I guess it comes down to if it’s not broken don’t fix it,” he said. “This is what most of the organizations thought who use that pathway. I wish we could have stopped this sooner when it came forward a few months back. I guess $136,000 that has been spent to date is a hard pill to swallow, for sure. That was definitely frustrating for me.”
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