Okanagan trail groups discuss potential for federal infrastructure funding - InfoNews

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Okanagan trail groups discuss potential for federal infrastructure funding

FILE PHOTO - A sign marking the South Spur of the KVR Rail in the South Okanagan is seen in this file photo. Okanagan trail groups met with Members of Parliament to discuss infrastructure funding for trail development.
August 13, 2016 - 1:00 PM

PENTICTON - The concept of a valley-length recreational trail from Osoyoos to Sicamous has been brought to the attention of the federal government.

Don Gemmell with the Trail of the Okanagans group says in an email delegations from the Thompson-Okanagan Tourist Association, from the Columbia, Shuswap and North Okanagan regions, the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative and the Trail of the Okanagans met July 20 at the Kelowna Yacht Club to discuss valley trails with members of the Pacific Caucus of the federal Liberal party.

The meeting was chaired by Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry and attended by nine other MPs. They discussed possibility of tapping into federal infrastructure programs and the potential of expanding federal infrastructure funding to include trails, which could be considered economic development, he says.

Gemmell says having the complete picture of an Okanagan-length route brought to the attention of the federal government was an “impressive move forward.”

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has an ongoing, annual program of trail development, expanding and improving its section of the trail annually. Funding requirements for the regional district portion of the trail is estimated at $4.5 million.

Work on trail surfacing of a portion of the KVR trail's South Spur between Kaleden’s Pioneer Park and Banbury Green Campground is expected to begin later this summer after the Board of Directors recently awarded the over $300,000 resurfacing contract to MacKinley-Clark Paving Ltd.

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