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HomeNewsLong-awaited pump track closer to becoming reality in Bracebridge

Long-awaited pump track closer to becoming reality in Bracebridge

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A location has been picked out for a pump track in Bracebridge. 

The town’s general committee will discuss a staff report that says a 9.34-acre piece of land situated between Little Ryan’s Way, Douglas Drive, and the Canadian National rail line is the perfect spot for the track that will be featured as part of a community park. The spot is just a few steps away from the Bracebridge Sportplex.

The park is proposed to include a parking area with access from Douglas Drive, portable washroom facilities, and access to the trails in the area. Picnic tables, bike racks, and trash bins will be set up along with fencing around the property. A park shelter will also be installed.

The report, done by Gillian Mitchell, Parks and Trails Forepoerson, and Cindy O’Regan, Director of Recreation, will be discussed by committee on March 8. 

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There were nine other locations that were looked at for the track, including the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre. It’s possible that one of those spots could be picked by committee for the track, but Mitchell and O’Regan say it’s not recommended as the location they picked has been identified as the “most suitable location.”

In the town’s 2021 budget, $170,000 was set aside for the project, but it was deferred to 2022. In this year’s budget, a separate $53,000 was earmarked for the “design and engineering components for a community park that includes a pump track.” 

In the town’s 2022 to 2031 long-term capital plan, it’s suggested that $477,000 be set aside in the town’s 2023 budget for work on the park and pump track. That number, however, could change considering town staff haven’t started work on next year’s budget.

“Pump tracks are both playgrounds and riding facilities for bikers, skateboarders, or scooter riders of all skill levels,” Mitchell and O’Regan explain in their report. “A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed for riders so they can use their momentum, created from their arms and legs, to pump their bike/board/scooters around the track.”

The report recommends the track be made of asphalt and be around 21,500 square feet, which is similar to what other municipalities have built. “The larger track, with amenities, would meet the needs of more users, of all ages and abilities, creating a vibrant pump track hub,” the report reads. 

Not only does the large size of the track allow for more people of varying skill levels to use the track, but the staff report also notes that it makes it more feasible for competitions, locally and regionally, to be held. 

It’s estimated the park and its amenities will cost around $20,000 a year to maintain, while the pump track will cost around $9,000.

If approved by committee, it will have to get council’s stamp of approval at its next meeting on March 16 before it can go forward.

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