Trail Society plans for upgrades and trust fund

New trails and a new trust fund were on the agenda at Kootenay Columbia Trail Society's AGM on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

New trails and a new trust fund were on the agenda at Kootenay Columbia Trail Society’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The KCTS is upgrading and expanding a number of trails, both this year and next.

The Dewdney Trail between Cascade Summit and Patterson is in the middle of an upgrade.

We’re currently working on the top third of that trail. That should be completed in the next few weeks,” said Isaac Saban, outgoing president of the KCTS. “It is a pretty vital link in the trail, forming the end of the Seven Summits, which is one of the reasons that it’s so heavily used.”

A new trail proposed for next year is a loop connecting to the Sunningdale Trail or the Miral Heights Trail.

On that link there’ll be a new additional loop that wraps up above the current trails,” said Saban. “So we’re in the process of fundraising for that trail, or we will be in the very near future.”

The society also plans to rework the Redhead Trail all the way up to Poochies Cabin.

So currently Redtop goes up to the top of Red Mountain. It’s very heavily used by both walkers and bikers, and with the high speed of descent of bikers there’s definitely some safety concerns of bikers coming down at high speeds and other bikers going up or hikers going up,” said Saban.

So the hope is to extend the Redhead Trail all the way up, which would be more of a dedicated downhill biking trail.”

There was also a changing of the guard on the board of directors at the AGM.

Three longterm directors finished serving their positions with the KCTS, and three new directors were elected.

Anthony Bell, who was a director for 15 years, Art Benzer, who represented Montrose for the past four years, and Saban, who was a director for 10 years and was president for the last seven, all stepped down as directors.

Vince Boothe, Scott Forsyth, and Gord McAlpine for Montrose were all elected as directors.

There were actually five people that were interested in running for the directors positions; there were only three kind of official positions available,” said Saban. “We’re really hoping to move to a model whereby there will be some committees that will support the directors, the two people that ran for directors positions that were’t elected, we’re hoping will continue to support KCTS on those committees.”

The KCTS is also fundraising for a trust fund.

Fundraising started about two weeks ago, with the goal to raise $10,000, which is the minimum amount required by the Leroi Foundation to set up the trust. The society hoped to raise the money by the time they met for their AGM, and ended up raising approximately $18,500.

The real goal of this trust is to allow people that are doing financial planning to leave money to local non-profits,” said Saban, “The KCTS is able to issue a tax deductible receipt for all donations.”

The KCTS will receive three and a half per cent of the capital invested and apply this to operating expenses or new trail construction. Any return on investment over three and a half per cent will be reinvested in the trust.

If the trust can raise $20,000 by the end of the year, then in a year’s time the KCTS would have an additional $700 in revenue per year.