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RDEK approves funding for Cranbrook-Wardner trail

The Regional District of East Kootenay approved $20,000 from the Community Works Fund Reserve, for the Trans Canada Trails Society to develop of the trail between Cranbrook and Wardner. The motion came forward in the Aug. 1 regional district board meeting.

The society estimates the total cost to develop the trail will be $165,000. The society has said it will match every dollar of local funding with $2.30.

So far the society has been successful in raising some of the $50,000 of required local funding through the Columbia Basin Trust.

Rob Gay, chair of the board of directors, noted that based on board policy, each year $15,000 of the Community Works Fund is set aside in a reserve fund for trail development. He noted that the balance of the reserve fund is approximately $95,000.

"I would appreciate receiving the Electoral Area Directors' support to contributing $20,000 from the Community Works Fund to construction of the Cranbrook to Wardner portion of the Trans Canada Trail," Gay wrote.

The directors at the meeting did give their support.

The trail project has been broken down into three phases over the next three years. Phase one is taking place this year, with the rail grade on Crown land being improved and resurfaced from the north-eastern edge of Cranbrook to Pritchard Road. The phase will also include the connector trail to Ramparts Lake rest stop.

Phase two will include the resurfacing of the rail grade from Ha Ha Creek Road to Wardner. And then in phase three the Mayook bypass and the rest of the trail will be completed.

The completion of the trail and the Rotary Way connector will make it possible to travel 70 kilometres from Kimberley to Cranbrook along the Rails to Trails, then connect through Cranbrook onto the Cranbrook to Wardner Trail.

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