Trail Debate Heats Up Again In Pembroke & LV

The debate over allowing ATV’s and snowmobiles along the waterfront rail bed in Pembroke and Laurentian valley is heating up again.

It’s the last section of the county-wide "Algonquin Trail" where motorized traffic still isn’t allowed, and the County wants the two local municipalities to make a recommendation by June 28th on this “final link”.

But Pembroke and Laurentian Valley have just opened up a survey to ask residents for input.

Laurentian Valley Reeve Debbie Robinson, who also sits on County Council, says in her opnion, they shoudln't be rushed into a recommednation.

"We are under the gun here now, to make some kind of a recommendation or decision", Robinson told Pure Country 96.7.

"I'm not going to speak for my (Laurentian Valley) Council because I don't know what that position is going to be.  My job, here at the County, is to advocate for Laurentian Valley.  My preference would have been that we would delay this for a year", Robinson added.

The County's June 28th timeline generated a robust discussion around the County Council table and was only approved by a narrow margin, through a weighted vote of 78-65.

Those in favour of the timeline, including Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, said municipalities have already had several months to take positions on the trail.

The County has been hoping to finish grooming and preparing the final sections of the trail and open it County-wide, with consistent guidelines.

However, Robinson maintained that input collected from citizens throught the survey will help to form a more responsible position.

"We need time to prepare a Laurentian Valley position, and we don't have enough time in 22 days", she said.

The survey for Pembroke and Laurentian Valley residents can be found at the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QSR8HNV

The survey will be online until June 25, but it's not clear if the municipalities will have time to analyze the data and form positions prior to the County's June 28 deadline.