MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The county will providing the gravel to help with the construction of a new cycling trail being planned by the Water Valley Community Association.
At the recent council meeting, council members approved the donation of 150 tonnes of so-called ‘fines’ gravel, a by-product of pit operations, for the project.
The county will also provide the transportation for the gravel from the Winchell Pit to the project site. The trail will be located behind the Water Valley School and will be based on an existing hiking trail on land owned by the association, council heard.
In a letter requesting the support, Water Valley Community Association officials said the new trail will provide a good recreation and fitness asset in the community.
“Our intention is to construct a mountain bike skills park and pump track for use by residents and visitors that would provide a much needed recreational facility,” said project lead Nathan Ryan and association president Laine Fowler.
“The initial design of the trail will require approximately 120 yards of fines to construct the track features. We have been shown the finds at the Winchell pit and determined these would be a very good product for our needs. We understand these fines are a by-product of pit operations and of no use to the county.”
Organizers had canvased association members about providing a vehicle to move the fines, but no one was able to make a suitable vehicle available, they said.
The county has agreed to transport the fines the 6.5 kilometres to the site.
During the May 25 council meeting, Coun. Peggy Johnson said, “I think that supplying an unused resource to somebody who could use it is a really good thing to do.”
Coun. Greg Harris said the old hiking trail is not used very often these days.
“What they are planning to do is revitalize something that the younger set, the kids, can use, recognizing that there are a lot of adults out there with those kinds of off-road bikes,” said Harris.
“It is trying to take something that isn’t used very well and re-purpose it into something that would be used and be available for community and visitors.”
The new track could be used for peddle bikes, not motorized vehicles, he noted.
Ryan Morrison, Mountain View County's director of operational services, says 12 truck loads will be needed to move the fines.
“We would be just looking at the better part of a day; that would be all it would take for us to haul that material in there,” said Morrison.
The county’s re-chipping crews would be moving the fines on a rainy day when the crews are not working on road projects, he said.
“I don’t think it is going to be difficult for us to fit this one day in to move this material from the Winchell pit,” he said.
The total cost to the county will be $2,558, including $1,600 for loader costs and $121 for administration, with the funds coming from the tax rate stabilization reserve.