"$56"- * 54  r  /&84

Money for cycling safety

Cycling tourists rolling through Prescott- Russell will find travel a bit safer around Alfred-Plantagenet Township starting this year. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) are getting $325,000 from theOntario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program to help with creating paved shoulders along about six kilometres of country roads between the villages of Plantagenet and Curran. “I wish to recognize the important financial contribution from the province,” stated UCPR Warden Guy Desjardins, “in order to allow our region to continuemaking improvements to its cycling network.” Warden Desjardins noted that the UCPR has been working on a plan since 2010 to provide paved shoulders alongside county roads to improve traffic safety and access for both local cyclists and cycling tourists in the region. By the end of this year the counties public works department expects to reach the halfway point in addressing the 570-kilometre network of cycling paths and road shoulders extending throughout Prescott and Russell counties. Desjardins credited this achievement to the partnerships that the UCPR has developed for funding and in-kind support of the project. The provincial funding to the UCPR is part of more than $1.5 million the program is investing over two for improvements to cycling infrastructure in Eastern Ontario. The cities of Peterborough, Cornwall and Brockville, and the townships of North Grenville and South Stormont are the other recipients. The funding is part of the provincial government’s 20-year Ontario Cycling Strategy to support the growth of cycling as both a recreational activity in the province and part of the growing eco- tourism sector. Counties and union reach deal Things are at peace on the labour front for Prescott-Russell counties. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2828 (CUPE) have achieved a new five-year contract agreement. Both sides ratified the contract that covers the period from April 1 st of this year to March 31, 2021. “I wish to emphasize that the (negotia- tion) meetings were very productive,” stated Stéphane Parisien, UCPR chief administra- tor, “and demonstrate a willingness on both sides to produce the best possible outcome for everyone involved.The contract reflects the good relationship between the employer and the members of Local 2828.” The new contract includes wage increases of 1.9 per cent during a two-year period, retroactive to Jan. 1 st 2016 and covering 2017. The following three years will see wage in- creases of 1.8 per cent for each year. The CUPE local represents 61 counties’ employees, including staff with the social services, economic development and tour- ism, planning and forestry, and the public works departments.

Cyclists rolling through Alfred-Plantagenet Township will have a safer ride soon along some of the backcountry roads thanks to a provincial infrastructure grant to the counties. —photo archives

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