Deadline looming for spending to improve Port Bruce harbour
The Township of Malahide has a money problem, but not the one you might expect, it needs to spend millions - quickly - or lose it.
The money is for the Lake Erie village of Port Bruce that has had a tough go since the main bridge into town collapsed.
But it’s not for the bridge, it's for a new break wall in the harbour to help protect the pier.
Malahide Township Mayor Dave Mennill says, “We applied to the disaster mitigation program, the federal program, and they awarded us $970,000. And so we are going to put another break wall behind the existing break wall.”
But there is a time crunch. To get the money, the project has to be completed by the end of 2019.
It can be done, engineers say, if things get started within two weeks.
That leaves the township trying to quickly approve a million dollars in municipal funding for the project, consult with the public and get tenders approved.
Councillor Scot Lewis says that's no problem, "As soon as the tenders are approved, and the public is aware of what's going on it will happen immediately, it has to.”
The pier itself will also get a makeover, including a resurfacing, and rails along each side for esthetics and safety.
Lewis says, “The engineers are saying this should give us a 40- to a 50-year extension to what we've got here, so that’s a pretty good bang for the buck."
And the $2 million price tag sits well with summer sailors, the backbone of Port Bruce's economy.
Plus, after the bridge collapse and two tough summers for local businesses, perhaps a fall construction rush – outside of the peak times for visitors - is the best plan.