Friends of the Kemble Heritage Hills worked diligently over the past 2 1/2 years to try to convince Georgian Bluffs Council to reopen these seasonal hill roads so that all residents and visitors could again enjoy their natural vistas. Unfortunately our quest came to an end when Council in February voted to change these historic roads into multi-use trails for ATVs, walkers, runners, horseback, snowmobile, etc. No cars.
A consultant hired by the municipality had estimated the cost to completely reconstruct the Heritage Hill roads (classified as Class 6 roads by the Province) at an absurd amount and it was this figure that was widely reported by Council and in the media. Even though we had the support from road expert Harold Sutherland that he could and would safely repair both hills for just $25,000, when we brought Mr. Sutherland’s offer forward, Council then claimed liability/insurance was the issue. What they have failed to recognize, or note, is that there is and will always be liability issues with trails just as there are with all roads. Suicide Hill and Dodd’s W Hill are no different than any roads in Georgian Bluffs with respect to liability.
So, despite a petition with 600+ signatures, support from many local businesses and organizations, many letters, phone calls and emails, Council has decided to ignore all that and change the roads into multi-use trails against the wishes of the community. And, they made that decision without any quote on cost to repair them to a multi-use trail standard. A sad day for democracy.