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Expanded parking and river access proposed for Wilson Flats near Inverhaugh

Shape of things to come - Above is an illustration showing the expanded parking area and river access at Wilson Flats near Inverhaugh.

Expanded parking and river access proposed for Wilson Flats near Inverhaugh

by Mike Robinson

ELORA - A partnership along the Grand River could see major changes to the Wilson Flats river access on the Grand River near Inverhaugh.

The partnership with Centre Wellington Township, Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Friends of the Grand and Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4) would transform the parking area along the Eighth Line.

On April 18, Centre Wellington council agreed to authorize the mayor and clerk to enter into an agreement with the GRCA to formally recognize the role of the township in the upgrade of the Wilson Flats access point as a project with RTO4.

The report by managing director of community services Brian Detzler stated three regional tourism organizations are cooperating along the length of the Grand River to provide 32 access points with consistent signage and services.

“The first (prototype) site to be developed and templated for “best practices” is within the Township of Centre Wellington at Wilson Flats,” said Detzler.

He explained the lands include those owned by thetownship and the GRCA.

Detzler estimated the capital value of this project is $140,000 (2016 estimate) including all planning, design and construction activities.

“We’ve had major cooperation with Friends of the Grand River and Larry McGratton who is busy securing in kind supplies and services to make this happen,” he said.

Detzler explained this means the $140,000 cash value will be reduced by the in-kind contributions.

He noted the land is currently a river access point.

“The intent is to enhance it. Make it much more presentable, accommodate more vehicles and provide a much more fluid (no pun intended) water access,” Detzler said.

Detzler said this project has been in the works for some time and the financial obligations by the municipality should be minimal.

Locally, Stempski Kelly Associates Inc. (SKA) was retained to design/site plan the Wilson Flats access point. The GRCA has given provisional approval for this work.

Work includes:

- wayfinding and signage;

- informational kiosks;

- gates and fencing;

- parking area expansion, surfacing and furnishings;

- installation of interpretative signage; and

- other improvements to the site to maximize its utility as a Grand River access point and recreational staging area.

The goal is to have the project completed and officially opened on June 30 for Canada’s 150th birthday.

Mayor Kelly Linton said “It’s awesome to see this moving ahead.”

Councillor Mary Lloyd asked how many of the proposed 32 access point improvements would be in Centre Wellington.

Detzler stated future access site work would be in Belwood Village, Belwood Lake, and the Elora Gorge.

The level of improvement may be different because those sites are entirely on GRCA properties.

 

April 28, 2017

 
 

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