TRAIL PROJECT A trail project, valued at $175,000, will convert and existing rail line into a non-motorized multi-use trail between Keremeos and Cawston. (Photo submitted)

RDOS seeks funds for Similkameen Rail Trail

Project will convert rail line to non-motorized trail between Cawston and Keremeos

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will apply to the B.C. Rural Dividend Program for funding to develop a rail trail between Cawston and Keremeos.

The trail project, valued at $175,000, will convert and existing rail line into a non-motorized multi-use trail between Keremeos and Cawston.

The grant will provide 60 per cent of the funding for the trail project.

The regional district’s 2011 Regional Trails Master Plan identified rail trails as a priority to connect communities within the region with an off-highway linear trails network.

In 2011, the regional district secured a license of occupation from the province.

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At present, the rail line is in undeveloped and is in rough condition and is not passable, said Apollo Figueiredo, planner with the regional district.

The B.C. Rural Dividend Program grant, administered by the Ministry of Forests, lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, provides up to $25 million each year for rural communities with populations up 25,000 or less.

The program provides funding of up to $500,000.

Under the terms of the program, the regional district will contribute 40 per cent of the cost of the project, with the remaining 60 per cent to come through the grant program.

The regional district’s contribution of $70,000 will come through the Electoral Area B Community Gas Tax Fund, with the remaining $105,000 to come through the Rural Dividend Program.

The application for funding was approved at the RDOS meeting on Aug. 1.

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