Snowmobile parking at KC Irving Centre: Bathurst council hears options

Bathurst continues to weigh its options when it comes to allowing visiting snowmobilers to park at the KC Irving Centre to access local trails.

Trail groups had voiced concerns for the safety and tranquility of non-motorized trail users as well as for the trail system's future development while those supporting the idea said it could do wonders for economic development.

Following a meeting with trail-users, Recreation Programmer Ryan Wilbur presented council with options for the trail groups should it decide in favour of snowmobile parking.

Wilbur says the groups would give up using the trail system behind the KC Irving Centre during the winter in favour of one of two potential locations:  near Nepisiguit River Company on Saint Anne St. or near Squire Green Golf & Country Club on Golf Street.

Wilbur says each location has its pros and cons but that both are acceptable to stakeholders and could lead to the development of an outdoor recreation hub.

He says 'Option A'(Golf Street) has an existing building and would require minimal investment.

The location has room for future development, could be used during all four seasons, and would allow access to Squire Green's clubhouse for special events.

Challenges of that site, Wilbur says, are its location, snow removal, a lack of rental revenue, and challenges for fat bike rentals.

'Option B' is closer to the highway, has potential for rental revenue and could also make it easier to access federal and provincial funding.

Wilbur says there is also potential to develop an outdoor recreation hub similar to the Club Plein Air de Caraquet.

Developing the site would be more costly though.

Wilbur says there's no building, access road, or parking at that location and that getting utilities like electricity there could prove costly.

He says there is also no right of way on that property and that securing permits for development could be a challenge as it is in the city's watershed area.

Council will take Wilbur's presentation into consideration.