Today the City of Kawartha Lakes Council voted unanimously in favor of our proposal to allow side by sides on the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor from Superior Propane staging area north to Kinmount, as well as in the Sommerville Forest Tract on a one year trial period. There will be a width restriction of 64 inches including all modifications and a minimum age requirement of 8 years of age for all passengers, which is modeled after Reg 316/03 and applies to ATVs as well. They also discussed our request to amend the road bylaw to allow them on all roads that ATVs are currently allowed on and that will go back to council in April for a vote. Thank you to those of you who wrote letters or emails of support. We have seen those letters as well as those who were opposed and want to say how happy we are with the respectful manner in which you addressed this issue with the councilors and mayor. Thank you to all the councilors for seeing the big picture and putting your faith in our members. I have to say that the current council has been the most welcoming and receptive council I’ve ever worked with as a whole. The mayor has also been very supportive of this initiative since the beginning. A special note of thanks to councilors Kathleen Seymour-Fagan and Doug Elmslie who helped push this initiative forward at council. Last but definitely not least I want to thank former councilor and fellow Somerville Forest Committee member Dave Hodgson. Dave and I have been working together on this initiative for almost a year with countless hours spent in meetings, phone calls and emails trying to make sure we haven’t left anything out that would leave doubt in the councilors minds. We’ve done our job and now it’s up to you to do yours. We have one year to prove to council that they were right in supporting us so let’s not disappoint them or give them a reason not to make this access permanent. Before the trails open we will post more details and guidelines for the sxs use on these trails and roads. Until then, please respect the volunteers and landowners and stay off of the trails.
Carolyn Richards