Northeast Town multi-million dollar waterfront project officially finished

by Robin Burridge

LITTLE CURRENT—After five long years of hard work, the Little Current waterfront was officially completed last Friday and celebrated at an appreciation event for all the various funding contributor, town staff, councillors and groups that made the project possible.

“This waterfront is a win for all of Manitoulin and the surrounding area,” announced Little Current Mayor Joe Chapman. “When you have a facility like this, it brings business to our port and to all of the surrounding communities.”

“It is a important day in the lives of Manitoulin residents,” said Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Brown who attended the celebration. “This project demonstrates that you are a leader and an innovator as a community. It will make a huge difference to your front street and your tourism, and as the US economy improves, I’m sure you can look forward to an even better future thanks to this project.”

A representative from Farm Credit Canada was present and received recognition for the federal organization’s $25,000 grant which helped improve fencing on Low Island. The grant was from a $1 million dollar Agra Spirit Fund which selected grant winners from the over 900 applications from across Canada. Little Current was selected thanks to an application by the town’s Economical Development Officer Kristin Luoma.

Jeff Wallace attended the event representing the Fielding/Wallace families who donated $50,000 to the project. “I am thrilled with the final results,” said Mr. Wallace.

“I am thankful that in my lifetime I was able to see such an incredible development and change.”

“The Lions Club have been apart of all projects that have happened in this community for as long as I can remember,” said Mayor Chapman, acknowledging the donation of the Little Current Lions Club “It is thanks to the selfless work of the great group of people who take the time year after year to raise funds for our community that makes projects like this possible.”

“I am very proud to be part of such a beautiful community,” said Little Current Lions Club President Bruce Burnett. “I would like to pay a special thanks to Kristin Luoma and Dave Williamson for all of their behind the scenes work that made this waterfront project a reality.”

Mayor Chapman also acknowledged the substantial contribution of $100,000 from the estate of the late Nolan J. Sisson. This money, together with a $20,000 donation from the Little Current Lions Club and local fundraising, made possible the skateboard park, outdoor ice surface and basketball court that is named in Mr. Sisson’s honour, the Nolan Sisson Community Park. Mr. Sisson, who passed away in 1967, had grown up in Little Current and left the bulk of his estate to be used for minor sports, recreation and for the benefit of the town youth.

Mayor Chapman also paid a special thanks to “The real nuts and bolts of the project; the town staff,” and added Greg Wright, manager of community services, to the list for being a “visionary and bridging the gap between the dreamable and the tangible.”

The mayor recognized past and present councils that helped with the project and past mayors Jim Stringer and Ken Ferguson.

He concluded with a thank you to federal and provincial government officials and said that the expansion of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor was the next project that the municipality would be seeking government support on.