When it comes to fixing the Port Stanley Harbour, one really has to listen to all
those discussions that get tossed into the mix before making any commitment to any
Port Stanley Harbour improvements. Making changes to the plan are easy but has all
the science been checked and does this change affect the vision on what will happen
in the years ahead in the Harbour.
Before Central Elgin even got control of the Port Stanley Harbour we heard all kinds
of advice that taxpayers paid for of what we should be doing, how we should be doing
it, and how much it's going to cost! The funny thing is that if we do look back
and check to see if we followed any of that advice we received, opinions vary here
but in my opinion we didn't follow all the directions in our first plan, and most
of what we did do was politically motivated to look good for the next election.
The other funny thing was that our first plan was based on getting twice as much
money as we actually got in that Harbour Divestiture.
Needless to say I still believe that money does not grow on trees and before any
change to Port Stanley's Harbour is proposed and carried out, a very thorough investigation
of all the facts, merits and benefits are justified and must be conducted to determine
the outcome of said changes or improvements. The reason I think that more checks should
be in place is mostly due to this years high water levels and what that brought
out as an issue in Hofhuis Park and the boat launch, both areas that have been recent
Port Stanley Harbour improvements.
Having the boat launch under water this year was a surprise and to this day can
not figure out why the top of the boat launch was not made to be at the same height
as the rest of the harbour. The other objects of concern included the concrete walkway
from the boat house to the bridge that's next to the water, even though it was a
perfect height for baby geese coming out of the water, I think it could have been
at the same height as the rest of the harbour. My last object of concern was the
bridge in Hofhuis Park with the south side significantly lower and being in the
water then the north side. I somehow don't think that this was done on purpose but
it's not the kind of result that I think is appropriate using taxpayers money.
Climate change seems to be a factor in this years high water levels and what happens
next year if the lake water levels go even higher? Something that we have to keep
in mind when we do our building is that IT'S ALWAYS BETTER TO MEASURE TWICE, CUT
Another point that came up recently is the fact that flooding can occur from both
ends of Kettle Creek and what would happen next winter if the right conditions of
continued high lake levels and a fast spring thaw mix. That could cause chunks of
ice to flow over Port Stanley Harbour walls on the south side of the King George
VI Lift Bridge!
Something else to think about if that new breakwater across the channel from the
end of the west pier near the boat launch gets put in. The first question that comes
to mind is how much more will it cost for dredging because of changes in the flow
of water out to Lake Erie? A second question concerns the risk of spring flooding
and how much would the new proposed breakwater affect ice build up in the Harbour?