Summerstown Trails group comes to county for help

Friends of the Summerstown Trails President Vic Leroux. (South Glengarry/Zoom via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – The Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) has come hat in hand to the county for money to cover coronavirus expenses anticipated this fall and winter.

As Cornwall Newswatch told you earlier this month, the non-profit group says it needs just over $26,000 to cover extra expenses such as staffing and personal protective equipment.

The entire request is $26,356.

FOTST President Vic Leroux made his pitch to county council Monday morning.

While the council was generally agreeable to helping out in some way, the group probably won’t get the entire amount from the United Counties of SD&G. It’s also made a request to South Glengarry.

The Summerstown Forest in South Glengarry on County Road 27 is owned by the county.

Some of the concerns from councillors were blurring the line over the county covering wages of a township employee and opening up the floodgates to other non-profits making similar requests.

“This is the best request we’ve seen so far but it’s only the first,” Coun. Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) said.

With coronavirus likely to continue into the winter, Coun. Lyle Warden (South Glengarry) said “it’s imperative” to have a winter outdoor ski, snowshoe and fat bike program like the one at the Summerstown Trails.

A report on the request and how the county will help non-profits collectively will come out in either October or November.

The county will also figure out whether the $1.7 million it received from the Ontario government for “operations” related to COVID-19 has any stipulations and whether it can be given to other groups that make requests to the county related to COVID-19.