Minto to take over Palmerston trail to connect communities

The municipality is making plans to take over ownership and maintenance of the Palmerston walking trail and link trail systems throughout the town.

Members of the Palmerston Trail Association, which was formed in 1999, attended the May 5 meeting to ask Minto council to consider taking over responsibility for the trail.

“Over the years the membership has reduced somewhat and we are now down to the point where we perhaps can’t handle the maintenance and financial commitments as well as we used to,” association president David Burns told council.

Burns noted that while the Palmerston Trails Association is in a good position financially, it lacked resources in terms of manpower and equipment to get the job done.

“We’re getting into stuff that takes equipment, takes people with expertise,” he said.

Mayor George Bridge said the opportunity fits in well with plans to access trail funding from the County of Wellington for future improvements town-wide.

Wellington County has budgeted $50,000 over three years to match funds spent on trails in each lower tier municipality.

“Over the next three years we’re hoping to have $100,000 available between the two levels of government,” said Bridge.

Bridge said a trail linking all sectors of Minto could be undertaken as a project to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017.

“I think everyone’s always thought it would be great to have a trail all the way from Palmerston up to the top of Clifford and that would connect our municipalities,” said Bridge.

The mayor said plans are already in the works for the  trails advisory committee to work with trail organizations based in Palmerston, Harriston and Clifford to work on the project.

 “I think it’s a great vision if we can get it done,” he stated.

“What I love about it is it connects all three (urban) communities and Minto township so it gives us what we’ve been trying to do to build that relationship.”

A resolution passed by council thanked the Palmerston Trail Association for its work on development of the trail.

The resolution also calls for staff to work with solicitors to facilitate the transfer of the trail to town ownership and the Minto Trails Committee to convene a stakeholders meeting to discuss the future of all trails in Minto, including a sesquicentennial project to “link by trail all four original Minto communities.”