Snowdusters request trail in area of wind turbines remain open

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

M’CHIGEENG—An agreement has been reached between the Manitoulin Snowdusters and representatives of the Mother Earth Renewable Energy (MERE) project, that will continue to allow for a major snowmobile trail that that links all the major trails located on the Island, located on Tower Hill Road in M’Chigeeng, to remain open, while also allowing for all work and maintenance on the wind turbine project to continue.

As reported in the November 11 edition of the Recorder, the Snowdusters had requested the major snowmobile trail remain open and unplowed because it connects many of the major trails that cross the Island. However, Grant Taibossigai, MERE supervisor, had indicated the road would have to be plowed in order for MERE to maintain and service the two wind turbines that are currently in the process of being installed and connected to the power grid.

Kathy McDonald, Clerk of Billings Township, told the Recorder last week, “an agreement has been reached between the two parties. Basically last Friday a couple of Snowdusters met with representatives of MERE in M’Chigeeng and they reached a decision on what each can do for the other.”

“MERE is going to clear the ditch so the Snowdusters can still clear the trail, and where the Snowdusters have to cross the road at some time,” said Ms. McDonald.

Sue Middaugh, secretary of the Snowdusters said “MERE was very accommodating to our concerns and the agreement was reached.” She had attended the meeting along with two other Snowdusters representatives.

As well, Mr. Taibossigai confirmed he “met with the Snowdusters reps and we both brought up our concerns,” he said. “In our case it is important for us have the area cleared fully until the end of February, early March, to finish off our telecommunication work and electrical sub-station, which are still under construction.”

Mr. Taibossigai said, “we will be cleaning out the ditch and providing access on the side of the road for the trails and up to the areas where they need to access the road.”

“We have an agreement drafted and are hoping everyone will agree with it, and sign off on it,” said Mr. Taibossigai. “The Snowdusters have been very good people to deal with. We are happy everything has been worked out.”