Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport rehab project to move forward

Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport

WESTERN MANITOULIN – With partnership agreements having been signed by three Western Manitoulin municipalities, and previously announced government funding in place, the next step in the major rehabilitation project for the Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport can now move forward.

Councils for the Town of Gore Bay, Municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island and the Township of Burpee and Mills have all signed the airport partnership agreement at recent council meetings.

“Basically, with this agreement in place and signed by everyone, we can proceed to the next steps,” stated Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at a council meeting January 11.  He will represent Gore Bay on the committee being set up for development of the project. 

The issue was discussed at a Burpee and Mills Township council meeting held on January 6. “We have an infrastructure agreement with the Town of Gore Bay for the airport project,” said Reeve Ken Noland. “They have the leadership on this agreement (having formally put in the request for funding to the governments) for this project and we need to appoint someone to sit as our representative on the committee,” said Reeve Noland, noting that Councillor Wayne Bailey is the township representative on the Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport Commission. 

However, it was noted Councillor Bailey has requested Reeve Noland to be the township representative on the committee. “The reason I asked Ken to be on the committee is that the three municipalities made the funding application, and the mayors and reeves signed the documents. I just think it’s important to be represented by the head of council.”

Council passed a resolution to approve the appointment of Reeve Noland on the committee, an action that will move the project to the next step.  

Gordon/Barrie Island Reeve Lee Hayden told the Recorder late last week that his council had also passed a motion to sign the partnership agreement. He will represent the township on the committee. 

Reeve Hayden, who is also chair of the Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport Commission said, “I have asked to get a meeting of the committee set up as soon as possible. We need to get everything going on this project,” he said, noting one of the first steps to be taken by the committee is to have a request for proposal application completed in order to accept tenders to hire an engineer to bid on the contract work for the construction to be carried out. 

Each participating municipality will be invoiced quarterly based on the current weighted assessment calculation for each party as determined annually by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation of the 6.67 percent of the project costs not covered by the federal (60 percent) and provincial (33.33 percent) government funding. 

As was reported in July 2020, the federal and provincial governments provided $3,966,497 toward the rehabilitation of the Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport, which will include a new air terminal, helipad, expansion of the secondary runway and enhancements to security and wildlife fencing. This project will improve passenger safety and security, emergency responses and the flow of traffic.