DIGBY, N.S. - The Town of Digby is looking to build a recreational boat launch in the downtown core.
Mayor Ben Cleveland said a committee has been formed consisting of himself and councillor Danny Harvieux to study the project.
The proposed location is on Water Street, near the Digby Yacht Club and former Digby Courier office.
“Over the winter, we’ll be addressing the right-of-way,” said the mayor. “I think we’ve decided that is the spot. There hasn’t been a lot of movement but we’re starting to pull in all the bodies to hopefully have something underway next year.”
Cleveland said a boat launch project has been it the works for close to a decade. He said Digby has commercial boat launches, but lacks infrastructure dedicated towards the recreational user.
“At the end of the day, most of them would be recreational boating but you could probably see some small 30, 35 or 38-foot Cape Islanders or something like that. But it won’t be a commercial boat launch.
“In the Annapolis Basin, we have this huge body of water and really the only proper one (recreational boat launch) is Annapolis Royal. So nothing at this end of the bay or the basin.”
Cleveland said the idea is to allow boaters to launch at any time, regardless of the tide. He added that if this type of boat launch was created, it could also accommodate emergency boats 24 hours a day.
“The key to a boat launch is being able to get to it anytime, especially for emergency services like the RCMP.”
The mayor said there haven’t been any formal engineering plans done for this project. He said dredging is likely needed to accommodate the boat launch but infrastructure doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated.
“Several years ago, we had an engineer just do a brief walkabout on the land…He said we could keep it relatively simple – just a concrete roadway. But it is a fair grade so it would have to be quite long so you could imagine a concrete pathway to the water with some rising walls on either side as you go down.”
The next step in this project is acquiring funding. Cleveland said town officials are looking to meet with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in the New Year do discuss options.
“We’ll be meeting with ACOA. They weren’t available just recently, but they are interested the boat launch.
“Then, we would be reaching out to other funding partners, which could be members of the emergency services,” he concluded.