By J.W. Schnarr
For The Taber Times
Council has awarded a tender for the West Trail Extension project.
Council awarded the tender to Ground Tech Enterprises for the amount of $831,270.83, inclusive of GST, at council’s meeting on Aug. 21. The bid was more than $100,000 below the next lowest bidder.
Work involved includes development in a number of areas, including 4.4 kilometres of three-metre-wide asphalt trail, including common excavation, and the work associated with creating that trail. It also includes 2,600 metres of gravel access road and parking lot, as well as 36,000 metres of topsoil stripping, including placement, seeding, mulch, and related work. The tender includes 165 units of PWF timber steps with a railing system, bike tire channel, and related work.
“This is quite an addition to our town,” Coun. Jack Brewin said, noting the project was off to “a great start.”
Once completed, the restored Trout Pond would be refilled and stocked with trout, and a walking trail will surround the pond. The town has proposed establishing a campground with approximately 16 RV stalls and an additional area for tents, with room for expansion if needed.
The facility is also expected to include a playground for campground and public use, as well as a dock and beach area. Other amenities will include picnic tables with campfire rings for grilling, and picnic shelters for larger gatherings. The walking trail is intended to include benches for walkers.
Administration has estimated some 2,500 trees will be required to make the park feel “full and well shaded.”
The project has been identified as an opportunity to provide more summer recreation opportunities – a goal identified through resident input into the Recreation Master Plan. Walking trails were identified as the highest priority for local residents. As Administration was already looking into the revitalization for the trout pond in conjunction with Alberta Conservation, the addition of a walking trail around the pond was deemed a way to fulfill both goals.
During discussion, Coun. Rick Popadynetz asked about sink holes in the area and any possible danger they might present to the public. Administration said any sinkholes would be filled in order to ensure the area was safe.
Council has allocated $900,000 from a $2.4 million donation by William Ferguson to the town which was put toward the project and had previously earmarked $133,000.
Brewin noted the importance of the ‘very generous” donation by Ferguson.
“It’s something we can really be proud of when it’s finished,” he said.