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REPORTING · 3rd December 2013
Walter McFarlane
Chad Fournier, president of the Kitimat Hiking and Snowmobiling club presented to Council with a Capital Grant request on Monday, December 2nd. He explained he was there to provide information on the Robinson Ridge Restoration Project.

He explained they maintain Clague Mountain and Robinson Ridge Recreation areas as a part of a User Group agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC for two trails. They maintain the trails, Emergency Shelters, groom the trials and their primary sources of funding comes from membership fees, the District of Kitimat, fundraising and Recreation Sites and Trails BC.

Recently, they restored the cabin on Clague Mountain using a job opportunity grant as a partnership between several groups including Haisla First Nations, the Recreation sites and Trails BC and the District of Kitimat.

The reason for putting in this Cabin on Clague was because of a 20% increase in the local club memberships, a notable increase in regional visitation and has provided new momentum and direction within the club. The Cabin was opened on March 2013. Now, they want to improve Robinson Ridge.

“The Robinson Ridge Area Restoration Project is being proposed and is to include upgrades to the existing roads, the trail head, and the trail along its entire length to provide year round access, use and most importantly, ongoing maintainability,” said Fournier.

They want to replace the existing cabin which is at the end of its life and will soon be unsafe for use, with one similar to the one they placed on Clague Mountain. They are proposing a fly in fly out honeypot toilet and the project is dependent on funding.

He said there is increased visitation to the area which will result in increased local spending relating to activities taking place there. They project 5 years of spending in town relating to gearing up for a hiking trek to be a potential 5 year total spending locally of $1 million dollars.

The cost of the project is $147,000 and includes demolition of the existing cabin, transport and purchase of the existing cabin, out house, construction of foundation and trail and access improvements.

They have applied for several grants, a $35,000 Community gaming grant, a mountain Equipment Co-Op Community Contributions Grant worth $15,000, an NDIT Recreation Halls and Facilities Grant worth $30,000 and a District of Kitimat Capital Project Grant for $32,000. They are looking for other grants as well.

Two grants, The Community Gaming Grant and the Mountain Equipment Co-Op Grant were unsuccessful. Fournier stated they will be looking at simplifying the project to the Cabin replacement which will cost $97,000. Funds will cost the District of Kitimat $32000, NDIT $30,000 and their club $35,000.

However, the NDIT decision to fund the project is dependent on the decision made by the District of Kitimat to fund the project. As such, they decided to move the application to February. Their goal is to place an order for the cabin in the late winter or spring of 2014 with a fall completion date.

Councillor Rob Goffinet stated it was very interesting. He was last on Robinson Ridge in 1988 and he understands how the cabin is at the end of its lifetime. He wanted to know how the club was going to provide the $35,000. Fournier replied it would be made up of in kind volunteer work from the club and money. They would be looking at contributing $20,000 to the project because NDIT only allows $15000 of in kind.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff clarified they were looking for $32,000 from the District of Kitimat. He was told the Gaming grant would have been dedicated to maintaining the trial for safety. The Mountain equipment Coop grant would have gone towards the outdoor toilet.

Councillor Phil Germuth thanked the club for providing the information for the report. Mayor Joanne Monaghan wanted the figures Council was given on a piece of paper. She was told by Council it is in their package.

Councillor Mary Murphy made a motion to push the capital grant request to the budgeting process. She complimented them on the presentation. The motion was called and carried.