By CBC News
Iqaluit's (Nunavut) city councillors will be asked this year to approve a plan to build an official snowmobile trail system.
About $200,000 has been budgeted for an improved snowmobile trail system, city planning and lands manager Michele Bertol said.
"I will strongly recommend to council to approve the budget for the planning department for the design and development of Ski-Doo trails in the community," Bertol told CBC News.
Council is expected to discuss the plan, and any allocation of funds, at a future meeting.
"We have built basic walking trails. Now I think it's important to move on to snowmobile trails," Bertol said. "My understanding is that it's of high concern for the residents of the community."
The city currently designates some trails for use by snowmobiles only.
But at last week's council meeting, some councillors said snow-clearing staff and contractors tend to pile up freshly fallen snow at intersections where the trails meet roads.
"It's difficult and frustrating when you're on a Ski-Doo and you get stuck right at a crossing, and you're in a bank that you weren't expecting because it wasn't there the day before," Coun. Romeyn Stevenson said.
Administrative officer John Hussey told CBC News that he's in discussions with public works staff about avoiding snow pile-ups on the trails.
Hussey said it has been an issue in the past due to low staff numbers during bad weather, forcing workers to focus their snow-clearing efforts on main roads and access points to places such as the hospital and the fire station.