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Moving forward on trail

Penticton council has agreed to fund a portion of a study on the feasibility and costs associated with constructing a multi-use trail between Penticton and Summerland.

The matter has been under discussion for a few months now, with council making a decision on providing $13,333 in funding this week.

“I think we are trying to promote our area as a cycling friendly area,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “And the area from lower Summerland to Trout Creek had a trail put in last year that gets a fair bit of usage.”

Staff presented a report on Jan. 18 to respond to a request from the Ministry of Transportation to financially participate in the study regarding the lakeshore pathway from the Summerland/Trout Creek area to Penticton.

The proposed pathway would run adjacent to the highway and would connect to the lakeshore path, tying Trout Creek and Summerland and providing a continuous link between Penticton and Summerland.

At the time, council tabled the item pending further information on both the proposed concept and the scope of the city’s financial commitment.

On Feb. 4, a meeting on the project was held and a presentation was made by Henry Sielmann, chairman of the Trail of the Okanagan Society, who has advocated for the pathway.

And as of March 18, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure proposed a contribution from the province of two-thirds of the cost of the study.

The remaining portion under the proposal would be funded equally by Penticton, Summerland and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS).

Jakubeit said the next step would be to approach the RDOS to see if they are also willing to contribute.

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