Gore Bay closer to creation of new marina breakwall

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

GORE BAY—The Town of Gore Bay is again undertaking the steps needed to provide for a new marina breakwall, and if everything goes well with input being provided by members of the public and government agencies, construction of the new marina breakwater, to provide protection to new docks in the marina, could take place in 2013.

At a meeting last week, council considered a recommendation from its public works and properties committee, which stated, “whereas we have been advised that the breakwall requires a municipal environmental assessment to be completed to obtain a work permit; therefore be it resolved that Bruce Pichon from Shoreplan Engineering be advised to start working on the municipal environmental assessment process.”

“This is in regards to the marina breakwall and its divestiture of it from DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans), who we had discussions with on this issue previously,” said Mayor Ron Lane. “At one point it appeared as if all the property we were looking at was sitting on federal property, but it has been found that with the extension of the breakwall, most of the land in question at the lake bottom sits on provincial land. Basically, we’re right back where we were six months ago, and we have to conduct a municipal environmental assessment, with the first of two public meetings to be held early in August.”

Mr. Lane said that in accordance with the requirements for projects of the municipal class environmental assessment act, the town is making study material and plans available for public review and will be holding the first of two public meetings on August 1, 2012. “This is being published in the paper, and the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources), MOE (Ministry of the Environment), other government agencies, First Nations and members of the public will have the opportunity to attend the meetings and have the opportunity to present input.”

“This is the first process to get all of this started,” said Mr. Lane. Once the public meetings are held, the town engineer would then right a report and if there are no objections, then this would go to the next step, he told council.

“So the property-lands-water in question are provincial instead of being federal?”asked councillor Lou Addison.

Mr. Lane said this is the case, pointing out, “the breakwall will extend about 500 metres and a major part of the lands the breakwall will be on is private lands, and if the property-lake bottom is transferred, the ownership swings back to us. The anticipated time for the report being completed is the end of the year and then we can make formal applications to actually get the process started. If approvals are given, then construction could begin next year (2013).”

After the council meeting, Mr. Lane told the Recorder, “it’s a combination of things. Basically the property we are talking about is at the Fish Point. That property and some of the water around it and most of it we have found out is provincial, and currently under the authority of the MNR. Originally we thought it was all federal property and that it would all go through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but the lands are provincial, and the the first step in the process is for the town to do its own environmental assessment. So, as I said at the (council) meeting, we are where we were six months ago.”

“We need to hold two public meetings, with the first to be held August 1,” continued Mr. Lane. “And after the meetings our engineer will put together a plan, an environmental assessment report, which gets circulated for further public comment and if everything is good and there are no concerns, then we can proceed to the approval stage for the work to be carried out, through the MNR.”

“The first step in all of this is the town is doing an EA, opposed to our original thought months ago that the DFO would carry this (EA) out,” said Mr. Lane. He said the town has budgeted for the project, and knew an EA would have to take place.

The breakwater project is needed, as Mr. Lane explained, “we’re concerned with the fact that our new docks project out further in the harbour than we had originally anticipated, and there has been some damage done to the docks due to wind. The breakwater was in the town’s original master plan for the harbour, but the docks were done first. This council realized the importance of the breakwall and are working toward this, to provide protection to the docks.”

“If everything goes right with this process and applications, we will be in construction mode in 2013,” added Mr. Lane.