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Wednesday , 25 May 2022

Town to begin lighting Jessie Lake trail over two years

In two years, the town hopes the entire Jessie Lake trail will be lit – with overhead lights that is. 

At Tuesday night’s regular meeting, Bonnyville town council agreed to award a shade over $230,000 to the Jessie Lake Trail Lighting project for one portion of the work, which came in under their allocated budget of $261,250. 

“We made Jessie Lake in general, including the trail and the lighting on the trail, a priority for several reasons,” said Mayor Elisa Brosseau on The Morning After. “It just encourages that recreation and wellness side of things for our residents. It’s a very key aspect to our town, so lighting is important to that trail to be able to use it all year long.”  

The total project is split into three phases with the goal of doing “phase 3” this year, and the other two phases to do in 2023. 

The intention is to install trail lighting from 66 Street to Gurneyville Road (55 Street) which will be able to help brighten the off-leash dog park, with the option to add more as well. 

Then next year, adding lights from 55 Street west to the end of the trail at Little Leap Park. 

A map showing where Phase 3 of the Jessie Lake Trail Lighting will begin this summer from council documents.
Phase 1 and 2 of the Jessie Lake Trail Lighting Project that would see the majority of the trail lit up. The intention is to do that work next year. Image: Town Council documents.

ATCO will do the work on the project with installing nine metre street pole looking lights for “phase 3.” When lighting the trail beside the lake, the town is looking at more aesethically pleasing six metre lights. 

“That is the part of the trail that we can kick start right now. And then next year, we’ll do the remainder of the trails. So from the Rodeo Grounds all the way down to the Splash Park,” said Brosseau.  

“There was a little bit of a debate, as far as should we be starting there as opposed to the other side and other parts of the trail? And as I mentioned, cost wise, it was easier for us to just bang that side out, and then do the remainder next year.”

Councillor Neil Langridge asked about the idea of starting the work toward Little Leap Park and moving east in phases during Tuesday night’s council meeting. CAO Bill Rogers responded by saying administration’s idea is not to piecemeal the project together, but rather do the heavy foot traffic areas all at once next year.

Council moved to spend $232,311.86 for work on the project. Council also approved an expression of interest and grant application for the “Product Development Fund” through Travel Alberta for all phases, to try and get some outside dollars in for the work.

Working with M.D. on salvaging underwater part of the trail

When asked about whether there has been discussions about reclaiming the part of the trail that flooded, Brosseau said it must be a collaborative effort with the M.D. of Bonnyville.

“Next year is on our radar to look at the flow of the water in and out of Jessie Lake and how we can help, when it does come up, are there ways that we can get some of that water out of Jessie Lake and maybe not have it come as high and cover the trail. But also the south side of the trail is in the M.D.,” said Brosseau. “So we need to work with the MD to see what their appetite is, there’s a huge cost over a million dollars just to bring that trail back up out of the water. So there’s going to have to be a lot of discussions with the M.D. there.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.