Trails’ cash runs dry
Reserves to keep up maintenance of two popular Central Otago trails are nearly gone.
The Roxburgh Gorge (34 kilometres) and Clutha Gold (73km) trails were officially opened by Prime Minster John Key in October 2013, attracting thousands of cyclists or walkers over the summer seasons.
Figures provided to the Mirror show while the trails this season from August 2014 to March 2015 made $11,164 including from donations and grants, operating costs totalled $19,229, leaving a deficit of $8065.
Trails charitable trust chairman Stephen Jeffery said fortunately, the deficit could be offset against the opening balance.
‘‘That said, our reserves are almost depleted.’’
Volunteers helped keep costs down with trustees from both the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold trails putting in 1646 hours for the season, and ‘‘friends of the trail’’ putting in 177 hours.
‘‘Most of the volunteer hours have gone into removing willow branches and weed spaying.’’
Jeffery said the trust had been dipping into its reserves to maintain the track— primarily for weed spraying.
‘‘We have pretty much used it up and are close to exhausting our reserves. We have also used a huge amount of volunteer hours cleaning the track and doing minor repairs from weather events.’’
The trust planned to apply this week for funds from a new council contestable fund of $70,000 set aside for trail maintenance, he said.
Great outdoors: Cyclists enjoying the Roxburgh Gorge Trail.