Published on July 31, 2014
Among those attending the July 30 meeting in Scott’s Bay were harbour master Fred Huntley, left, and Kings North MLA John Lohr, right. - John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
Published on July 07, 2014
Scott's Bay wharf during the fiercest winds of the post-tropical storm July 5. - Submitted
Published on July 18, 2014
The Scott’s Bay wharf is closed after a section was washed away during post-tropical storm Arthur. – Phil Vogler photo
Scott’s Bay is not going to let its wharf go without a fight.
When post-tropical storm Arthur hit July 5, it took a bite out of the centre section of the wharf. The fate of the wharf is up in the air, however.
Nearly 30 area residents attended a July 30 meeting facilitated by Jerry Huntley. A meeting had been held at the wharf the previous week with representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours division.
“They said they probably couldn’t repair all of the wharf,” Huntley said, “but they might repair some of it, providing the community formed a non-profit group.”
The group would first have to apply for funding to do the work and afterward take responsibility for managing the ongoing upkeep of the wharf and harbour.
“They’re not interested in putting the wharf back the same size as it is now. The part beyond the breech, they want to remove and not replace it,” Huntley said.
The remainder of the structure would be reinforced with armour stone, creating what one of area resident termed “a high-water wharf.”
Huntley said they were told at the previous meeting they had two weeks to form a non-profit group and come to a decision on what they wanted done.
“I can understand they want to get this done as quickly as possible. These things take time, and they’d like to get it done before winter,” he said, or before another storm damages the wharf even more.
However, he added, it takes more than a couple of weeks to get a new organization formed and off the ground.
Second meeting planned
Huntley will tell the department that the community is interested in putting something together and wants to hear what the department is willing to do. DFO will be invited to attend the next community meeting Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.
One audience member suggested DFO “is dangling a small carrot in front of us,” and if the community does its homework, “there may be larger carrots out there.”
Another resident suggested the community had nothing to lose by asking for the entire wharf to be repaired. “We may as well shoot for the stars. They can’t do any more than say no.”
At any rate, it was suggested the community come to the next meeting well prepared.
“It’s probably a good idea to have a ‘wish list’ ready for next Wednesday,”
Huntley said. “Hopefully, they’ll have a little more information for us next week.” And while there was some sense of urgency, he added, Scott’s Bay has nothing to lose by taking its time and doing it right.
Harbour master Fred Huntley said the wharf is a focal point in the community.
“If we’re going to develop this place, let’s develop it the way we want to,” he said.
Local politicians will be invited to attend the next meeting and asked to look for avenues of funding that the community could pursue.
No decision yet
No firm decision has been made yet on forming an association. Instead, the community opted to attend the meeting on Aug. 6 and gather as much information as it can, then decided from there.
“There was definitely a desire here tonight to not let the harbour go – at least not without a fight, anyway,” Huntley said after the meeting.
He was pleased and encouraged by the attendance, which included “a good cross-section of the community,” he said.
“We had a lot of leisure fishermen here tonight who use the cove,” he said, adding that the wharf “lends a bit of sanctuary for their boats.”
He’s hoping for an even better turnout Aug. 6 to ensure DFO knows the interest and concern is there.