Grand Forks to use left over RinC money for trail

The city has submitted an application to use the remaining funds that were left over from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program to do extra work on the trail.

Coun. Chris Moslin says there are two reasons for the application for extension being sent by the city.

“One is the federal government extended its deadline from the end of March 2011 to the end of October 2011,” he says. “It did that because many of the projects, much bigger projects around the country, couldn’t make a March 31 deadline.”

Moslin says that the city finished their project much earlier in November and has around $80,000 of the $1.2 million total left over. “If this isn’t used then the money goes back to the government.”

Moslin says that the second reason is that the staff and local contractor did such a good job that they were done well on time and under budget, so basically there was money left over, as well as materials, such as crushed gravel.

Council will be given three or four options on where to put that material and spend that money and Moslin adds that council will have to choose carefully since the choice the choice that they make will have to fall within the scope of the original RInC application grant.

He says that the city is supposed to be improving pedestrian infrastructure between south Ruckle and Perley, and south Ruckle and Highway 3.

“We’re going to be looking for a project in that area that can be done expeditiously and benefit pedestrians,” Moslin says. “Council hasn’t made the final decision of what they’re going to do with it but they have made the decision on requesting for an extension so that we can basically use these extra materials left over and the money.”

The money is not all the city’s money, only about one third is. The remaining two-thirds is divided between federal funds and provincial funds.

Moslin expects that the improvements planned for the trail should be done by the end of June or even sooner.

Mayor Brian Taylor says that the next phase of the project will be in the scope of the original application.

“It’s a matter of making full use of the resources that were made available to us,” Taylor says. “But no change in target, we’re just improving again a portion of the trail.”

The project was originally granted in 2009.

Coun. Christine Thompson says that she is “absolutely thrilled with the project,” especially since it came in on time and on budget.

“We’re going to be able to do some additional things,” she says, of the leftover funds.

The official opening for the trail is May 14. The 44th Field Engineer Squadron will be there as well as local politicians. There will be a ceremony at 1 p.m.