City seeks COVID money for path project

The City of Yorkton is hoping to access some federal dollars to pave another segment of pathway.

The program is new, explained Darcy McLeod Community Development, Parks and Recreation with the City at the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday.

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“The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are adapting the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. The Program, delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, is being adjusted to add some flexibilities, expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals,” he reported.

As a result a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream has been announced with the following priorities:

*Retrofits, Repairs and Upgrades for municipal and Indigenous buildings, health and educational infrastructure. Please note: Projects should clearly demonstrate that the retrofits, repairs or upgrades are directly related to a building or asset housed within a building. Work undertaken outside of a building (not directly related to the walled and roofed structure) would be considered ineligible.

*COVID-19 Response Infrastructure including measures to support physical distancing.

*Active Transportation Infrastructure including parks, trails, foot bridges, bike lanes and multi-use paths.

*Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation including natural infrastructure, flood and fire mitigation, tree planting and related infrastructure.

Pathway designated for hard surfacing (asphalt) in Logan Green has been selected. This portion of pathway starts at the corner of King Street and Gladstone Avenue south and runs along the north side of Logan Green connecting it to the east side of Logan Green adjacent to the Cemetery.

This is approximately two kilometres of pathway, including lights with an estimated budget of $885,000.00, said McLeod.

“This portion of pathway has been designated a priority in the Cycling Network Plan, which was originally approved in 2009 with on-street bikeways being completed in 2010. Pathway building started in the years that followed and continue through 2020, with more pathways targeted for future capital budgets,” added McLeod.

The cost to complete this portion of pathway was also a factor in selecting it for this grant application, noted McLeod.

McLeod said pathways are an increasingly important part of the City’s recreational opportunities.

“Pathways have become an important aspect in our community prior to Covid, but their importance has become even more so during the pandemic as people look for ways to stay active and healthy in the outdoors,” he said.

“Further, our community is a winter city, experiencing cold weather for six months or more each year. Providing hard surface pathways allows for snow clearing in the winter months and encourages people to get out and stay active when it is too easy to choose staying in their house. Hard surface pathways support different modes of human powered wheeled active transportation options such as roller blades, wheelchairs, skateboards and strollers. This provides low cost or no-cost options for people to choose to be active and stay healthy. This is especially important during a public health emergency like a pandemic.”

Projects funded under the program must begin before September 30, 2021 and be complete by December 31, 2021.

Municipal government projects are eligible for up to 80% funding of the total cost of the project.

Council was unanimous in authorizing Administration to submit an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.

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