To the Editor:
What to do on the beach this summer.
I believe a former CAO was quoted as saying “there’s nothing to do on the beach”. Well, the town has made it so, by taking away anything other than the sand and water with a plan that anyone who was awake would have known was a really stupid idea.
The idea? To go into a 50-year partnership with someone who had illusions of grandeur – a scheme to build a year-round super commercial complex on the dynamic beach (details available elsewhere). Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have realized 1) that the SVCA staff/board would burst out laughing before saying “NO”, and 2) the beach is a very inhospitable place for at least 2-3 months of the year.
First of all, the CAO suggested taking away things that made the beach “special” – a miniature train, a rundown mini-putt course, a convenience store that sold beach toys and fudge; and the town has now put the final nail in the coffin by relocating the flea market to a parking lot uptown. To compound this folly, the town has locked up the washrooms on the dock to keep them clean (you can get in if you ask permission of a town employee) and failed to provide power to the boaters on the north side until the last week of June causing hardship to those boaters who use their boat as a cottage after lift-in in mid May.
To round out this state of affairs, may I point out that it appears no special events can be hosted on the beach without the “permission” of the owner of the 50-year lease of the beach (the flea market?). So, until the owner of that lease has built his restaurant (with patio), event hall (available for rent to weddings, parties and vendors), an indoor games room (video games for kids who hate sand and water?) and yet another ice cream shop, there is “nothing to do on the beach” unless you like sand and water and bring most of your own toys.
It is a sad day for the Port Elgin beach but we still have our memories and hope that this too shall pass.
Lori McHardy – a long-time summer resident who remembers how it was