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Councils blazing a positive trail

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Taber Times

The Town of Taber is on the cusp of officially unveiling the sweat and tears it has put into the walking trail expansion between the Trout Pond and Highway 864 in the first phase as part of a bigger five phase vision.

The Trout Pond and West Trail Extension project is an effort between the town and a number of organizations to revitalize and restock the old trout pond west of Taber. The pond used to be an area where residents and visitors could enjoy the local landscape and catch a few fish. The Town of Taber decided in 2017 that this project would provide an added recreational venue to our area, where people could catch fish, use non-motorized boats on the pond, camp, and enjoy kilometers of walking trails.

Some controversy has swirled around town council’s decision making in how best to allot public funds donated to the Town of Taber form the estate of William Ferguson.

William James Ferguson passed away Oct. 20, 2016 at the age of 71, and left the Town of Taber as a benefactor of $2.4 million from his estate. Decisions to allocate $1.5 million of those funds to a proposed new fire hall have been met with multiple petitions and plenty of heated dialogue on coffee row and an open house.

But what has got lost in all the controversy is a general thumbs up to the notion of allotting $900,000 of those inherited funds to the trout pond recreational area in question, along with trail expansion.

The area was once a thriving area of recreation and council has been determined to restore it to its former glory and walking trails are always good bang for buck.

Walking trails can be used year round for the most part if Mother Nature is cooperating, creating exercise and recreation for all demographics of user.

From kids being pushed around in strollers to the elderly, walking trails are a great option for recreation while also battling rising obesity in North America with its overall utility factor.

At a recent joint meeting between the Town of Taber and the M.D. of Taber, M.D. administration unveiled work it will be doing on its regional walking trail system.

Long-term plans for a huge interconnected trail system that joins up between the two municipalities.

As more and more municipalities are looking to stretch their recreational dollars by examining such initiatives as multi-use complexes which is to be commended, still for overall utility factor to dollar invested, study after study has shown walking trails are a sound investment.

Beyond the walking trail will be an upgraded recreational area at the Tout Pond.

Concerns have been raised on how the area will be properly policed so that it does not fall into a state of disrepair from vandalism and misuse with late-night partying.

Those concerns are well founded as this is no pocket change municipalities put into their recreational endeavours. Town council wants its investment protected.

As the Town of Taber continues its multiple phases in upcoming years to revitalize the area, hopefully, both town and M.D. residents will show the respect the area in needs in being responsible stewards of the land both in the present and the future.

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