Almost $3 million in joint funding to support infrastructure projects in Haliburton County was announced at an April 29 meeting, held virtually./Screenshot

$3 million in recreation upgrades coming to Haliburton County

By Sue Tiffin

Four projects in Haliburton County are benefitting from almost $3 million in joint federal, provincial and project recipient funding.

Upgrades to the Haliburton County Rail Trail corridor; renovations to the Kinark Outdoor Centre in Minden; accessibility upgrades at the Minden Library, Minden Hills Cultural Centre, Lochlin Community Centre, Irondale Community Centre and the Minden Curling Club, and rehabilitation of Rotary Beach Park in Haliburton are being supported through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

At an April 29 virtual meeting announcing funding for eight projects in the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock region, Laurie Scott, MPP and Jamie Schmale, MP, joined municipal politicians to congratulate the recipients of the financial support. In total, the eight projects will receive just over $12 million in combined funding – with $4.8 million coming from the federal government, $4 million from the provincial government, and the rest being contributed by municipalities.

“It’s truly an exciting day for all of us in this part of Ontario, and especially us in Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes and Brock,” said Scott in the virtual meeting. “It’s fair to say the excitement is because we’ve all been waiting a long time for this … Today is the first step toward getting shovels in the ground, my favourite saying.”

The County of Haliburton’s Rail Trail corridor upgrade project received $107,250 in federal funding, $89,366 from provincial funding and $71,509 in recipient funding for a total of $268,125. The project includes granular overlay for 30 kilometres of the trail, the installation of 15 benches, 500 metres of barrier, and informational signage to highlight trail history, the natural environment, and trail accessibility.

“These enhancements will provide an improved recreational experience for users, while reducing annual maintenance costs,” reads a press release from the county.

The Rotary Beach Park rehabilitation project in Dysart et al will benefit from a combined $300,000 – $120,000 from the federal government, $99,990 from the provincial government and $80,010 from recipient funding. The project looks to improve overall park infrastructure in repairing the surfaces of sports courts; improving accessibility of pathways, docks, courts and picnic areas and rehabilitating the exterior of the storage building, as well as installing a play structure, a rain garden, a bike rack, an off-leash dog park, and a wi-fi network. A tree study will be conducted, according to project details, to ensure adequate management of shade, soil, water retention and erosion control.

“These improvements will provide an accessible, modern, and safe recreation area for residents and visitors, while supporting various community, cultural and sporting events,” reads the project information.

In Minden Hills, a Kinark Outdoor Centre rehabilitation project will receive close to $1.5 million – $595,320 from the federal government, $496,051 from the provincial government and $396,930 from the project recipient. The funding supports constructing an additional respite dorm; improving the safety and accessibility of indoor and outdoor spaces like trails, waterfront areas and classrooms; extending the service life of the dining hall and laundry facilities and providing winterization and accessibility to sleeping cabins.

Also in Minden Hills, four facilities will benefit from funding totalling $897,000 – $358,800 from the federal government, $298,970 from the provincial government and $239,230 from the project recipient. The Minden Library and Minden Hills Cultural Centre will see an upgrade to the condition of retaining walls, stairs, ramps, the sidewalk, platform, guardrails and handrails around that building. Accessibility will be upgraded at the Lochlin Community Centre and Irondale Community Centre, in the way of a ramp replacement and automatic door operator installation. At the Minden Curling Club building, an elevator and air lock at the front of the building will be installed.

“I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to offer our sincere thanks to both the federal and provincial governments for their support of four separate projects in the county throughout your community, culture and recreation stream,” said Liz Danielsen, county warden and deputy mayor of Algonquin Highlands. “Our thanks particularly to MP Jamie Schmale and MPP Laurie Scott for championing these projects on our behalf. Along with the rest of the province and beyond, the residents of Haliburton County have had and continue to experience some difficult times, and it’s really heartening to get some welcome, good news about projects being approved for all of the residents to enjoy in the future.”