City council has approved the spending of an additional $50,000 to finish site restoration work at Canal Beach.
The restoration work is part of the city’s commitment to clean up the former Alberni Plywood site; Canal Beach comprises Lot C of that site.
However, Coun. Hira Chopra expressed concern about the budget to get this new beach open to the public.
“I have a problem with how many times we have to give $50,000 to that piece of property,” Chopra said during Monday’s city council meeting. “What’s the budget? Slowly, slowly, slowly money is going down the drain.”
Parks and recreation director Scott Kenny clarified that $55,000 has been spent so far on cleaning up the beach, which included installing new fencing, removing the rotten deck from the pier and removing debris. According to a report Kenny prepared for council, the additional $50,000 will come from the current 2013-2017 financial plan, which budgeted $500,000 from the land sale reserve for additional remedial work at the site in 2014.
“The money will be used to make the site safe,” Kenny said. “People want to be down there at the beach and we are very close in getting it to that state.”
Kenny explained he has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding this new beach, but it remains gated due to safety concerns.
The additional $50,000 will go towards removal of more logs and various debris including sunken boat equipment, beach gravel, rock bank stabilization and installation of boom sticks to prevent logs from entering the beach area.
Coun. Jack McLeman said while he thinks the location of this new beach is poor, he looks forward to it opening up to the public.
“What happened down there so far is good,” McLeman said. “It may not be the best spot to use but it’s what we got and you [Kenny] and your crew and contractors have done a very good job. If people use common sense, then I think it will be safe down there.”
The new beach is located at the end of Third Avenue, past the Alberni Pacific Division (APD) sawmill.