Gore Bay Marina expansion approved

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Project to be phased in and contingent on funding

GORE BAY—Gore Bay town council has given the go-ahead for proposed plans toward its marina expansion project, which will be carried out in phases and is contingent on government funding.

At a special meeting of council last week, council members reviewed the several options they had been provided for the marina expansion. 

“The committee met in a conference call with EXP (engineers). After that, discussions centred on which option should be considered and option number 3B was recommended for the stage work of the project,” said town clerk Annette Clarke at the special council meeting held last week. 

Ms. Clarke explained the actual marina expansion would be carried out in phases. Phase one would be the replacement of the Okeechobee and Fish Point docks; the second phase would be installing new docks off the (current) breakwall and stage three would be for the extension of the breakwall—a floating breakwall to protect the larger vessels that come in and an extension to the main docks.

The next step will include the completion of the plans and for the town to meet with FedNor and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation representatives to start the process for funding applications.

As part of the marina expansion, but not included in the cost estimates, was a floating dock to be installed to protect pier 14, noted Ms. Clarke, “and to accommodate cruise ships if they were to dock here. We’ve made initial calls to cruise line companies, and this work would be given to the EDO (economic development officer) to concentrate on that for us.”

“It would provide docking space and protection for bigger vessels that we can’t handle now,” said Councillor Ken Blodgett.

Ms. Clarke stressed that the marina expansion plans are all contingent on funding for the work to be carried out. 

“The first phase would mean having 71 more docks,” said Mr. Blodgett. 

Currently the town marina has a total of 157 slips and, under the marina expansion project, 25 slips would be removed and replaced with new ones. There would be 120 new slips and anchor blocks installed and the project would include a new commercial dock, anchor blocks and wave attenuator.

“Do we have the boating traffic?” asked Councillor Paulie Nodecker.

“Hopefully,” said Mr. Blodgett, and with “the newer docks we will be able to invite entire cruising clubs here to visit.”

Ms. Clarke noted, “and a marketing strategy will need to be done to bring more boats here, with packages provided where people dock here and include restaurants and theatre etc.” She pointed out the town is running out of room to dock vessels, even seasonals. Currently, “we have to turn boats away on the Harbour Days weekend because we don’t have the room to accommodate them (larger vessels),” said Ms. Clarke.

And there are nights when the marina is full and boaters have to dock at the CYC (Canadian Yacht Charters), said Mr. Blodgett.

The new floating dock reserved for commercial berthing would be attached to the existing armour stone breakwater to accommodate the new access point and new gangway shore connection.

Councillors Ken Blodgett and Patricia Bailey put forward the motion to approve the option for the marina expansion project at a cost of $4,150,052, which was again stressed, would be phased in contingent on funding approvals.