Ben Cleveland says it’s almost time to start his spring project.
Digby’s mayor and a group of councillors and other volunteers plan to start fixing up the old Digby Pier Light next weekend.
The wooden lighthouse has been sitting on its side in the town’s public works compound on Sydney Street since the mayor and his posse retrieved it from Saint John last October.
The 86-year-old structure originally sat on the end of the pier in Digby welcoming ferry passengers and fishermen alike until 1970. The Coast Guard stopped operating the light in the mid-60s and moved it to the Saint John Coast Guard base for storage after the ferry wharf spur was condemned.
The city of Saint John had maintained the lighthouse on its waterfront since the mid-80s but was planning to move it to make room for waterfront development there. After negotiations with Cleveland last summer, they agreed to let Digby have it back in return for 200 pounds of scallops.
The mayor says several people have talked to him about taking part in the spring project including councillors and contractors.
He is also confident he can scrounge up donations for most of the material needed. For now he says they will start by ripping off the upper railing and deck, which is the punkiest part of building.
The mayor had said last year when he first brought the lighthouse home that he’d like to set it up on the end of the new breakwater.
However after watching last month’s storms hammer the wharf and smash off new blocking and ladders, he isn’t so sure.
He says he isn’t ruling out the breakwater as a home for the light but he says they may have to raise it up a little higher.
“Then cost becomes a factor,” he says. “We’d like to hear what the community says. This light was donated back to the community and we’d like to hear their suggestions.”
The mayor has already asked people on Facebook and many have suggested both the Admiral’s Walk and the Fishermen’s Memorial Park.
Once people have had a chance to express their opinion on where the lighthouse should end up, council will make a decision.
One part of the mayor’s plan hasn’t changed: once the lighthouse is fixed up and settled into its new home, he wants to celebrate.
“This summer you will see it set up and we will have the "Let's get Lit" Party where we will turn the light back on,” says mayor Cleveland.
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