Frankly, I'm tired of talking about Bay Beach, but we must, mainly because of how the whole Bay Beach Properties Issue has been mishandled from the time it was purchased from the George Rebstock back in 2001.
Since that time, for some possibly (fill-in-the-blank) reason, the property has been treated as a step-child in the Fort Erie Family. We quickly learned that the property was "required to bring a return on the investment" of $2.05 million. So, early in 2002, someone at town hall decided to sell off the north parking lots to fund an extension of the Friendship Trail. Soon, there was opposition and, eventually the idea was dropped. But, we knew that was not the end and, almost as soon as Doug Martin was elected, the other shoe dropped and we entered the Molinaro Era which was bad, very bad.
So, here we are again; back to 2001 with another "study" to decide the future of the Bay Beach Properties. And, once again, they're talking about selling off the north sections (parking lots.) Thanks so much, we really needed to hear that again, a decade or so later. Meanwhile, the beach itself is drawing more and more people, mainly because it is free and the nearby Sherkston Shores is closed to day trippers.
We are hearing stories of parking problems; garbage on the beach and crowded conditions. The paid parking lots at the Beach are a mere $5.00 for the day, while non-enforced parking nightmares make local residents angry. Busloads show up on nice weekend days, depositing people from far away. They go to the free beach and spend the day until the bus returns. At the end of the day, there are piles of garbage bags that sometimes sit for days before they are removed. Just past Point Abino, Pleasant Beach has been overrun with beach-goers as well.
Something has to be done. But what? Earlier, I had offered that there is a report that over 7,000 people were at Bay Beach on one day this summer. Even if half that number were non residents and were charged $1.00 admission, that would bring $3,500. on a good day. I also opined that the parking lots should charge as much as the hospitals charge at their lots. Years ago, there was a resident card available for the beaches of Fort Erie. Don't know what ever happened to that initiative.
So, have at it. What do you think? Tonight the Study will be presented to council. Watch for the hook in the sandwich. As I said earlier: Back to 2001.
(I'm going to transfer the remarks about this issue from the previous thread.)
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