UPDATE: City looking for short-term deal to allow for use of bike path near bridge

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Recreational path

CORNWALL, Ontario - Despite the fact that we are well into July, the city is quickly trying to set up a temporary lease agreement with federal government partners to sanction the use of the bike path near the new low-level bridge.

City councillors will learn more details concerning the lease agreement when they meet Monday night.

In a municipal report that has been filed in time for Monday's meeting it is suggested negotiations concerning the long-term use of St. Lawrence Seaway property are becoming cumbersome.

The city is instead looking to enter into a temporary agreement that will officially allow use of the property for 2014 only - though cyclists can still be found pedalling on that portion of the path.

The city has been negotiating for some time with Canada Border Services Agency, which now operates a so-called interim port of entry on the Cornwall waterfront, as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, which owns much of the waterfront property in that area and Transport Canada.

"It is important that the city get the proper authority to allow the public to utilize the bike path and identify responsibilities for maintenance," reads the city hall report. "Discussions with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, CBSA and Transport Canada for a long-term lease agreement for the newly constructed bike path have been complicated and are ongoing."

The short-term lease agreement will contain normal provisions and responsibilities that would otherwise be contained in similar documents in place along the waterfront.

Christine Lefebvre, city parks and recreation manager, said while access to the portion of the path in questions is marked with barriers, cyclists are still using it.

"We've not said to the community 'Please don't use it,'" she said, adding with council's approval Monday night the issue will be put to rest for this season, at least.

Organizations: Canada Border Services Agency, St. Lawrence Seaway Management, Transport Canada

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, St. Lawrence Seaway

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