Letter-Morrisburg's gem an eyesore, dock needs priority treatment
Opinion - June 6, 2012 Edition
The present state of the Morrisburg public dock is a disgrace. It needs to be repaired and put back into service as a matter of urgency.
Summer evenings and week-ends at the Morrisburg dock have become a major draw for locals, boaters and out-of-town visitors. In many ways, the Morrisburg waterfront and dock has become the town meeting place where you can always be sure to find a few friends and neighbours.
It was becoming an ‘attraction’ that drew tourists by both water and land.
Now what do we see? A “Dock Unsafe” sign and a make-shift barricade to stop folks from using the main part of the dock. It looks terrible and sends a really bad message to visitors about our town.
The dock has been neglected since the Federal Government gave it to the township.
A large part of the outside face of the dock was destroyed some years ago, the rubber buffer strips on the concrete wall are gone, the concrete slabs of the western launch pad are breaking apart and have a dangerous drop-off at the end that is in the water, the wooden base for the mooring cleats on the concrete wall are rotting and exposing loose bolts and the boardwalks have heaved up so much that it is not even safe to walk on the dock.
The dock is actually much worse on the water side than it is on the land side. You would really be risking your boat if you tried to moor alongside the outside face of the dock.
Last year I took some photographs of the dock from the water side and sent them, along with a request that the dock be fixed before the 2012 season, to the Mayor and most of the councillors. In reply, Steven Byvelds said there were no budgeted funds for maintenance and that the council could look at this issue next year (2012).
I may be wrong, but I do not believe that there was any follow-up to my letter, certainly nobody contacted me.
It seems to me that the Morrisburg dock is really the jewel of the town and yet we cannot maintain it properly.
Imagine belonging to a golf club where the executive decided not to maintain the greens in order to save a little money. That is what has happened to our dock.
My wife and I are active boaters, and we have cruised our boat from Lake Ontario to Florida stopping at town docks along the way. We moved to Morrisburg because of the river and access to boating.
We always felt that the Morrisburg dock could easily become one of the nicest places to stop, but in recent years it has been neglected and is now an eyesore.
We have posted information about local docks and anchorages in “ActiveCaptain”, a very popular online boater’s cruising guide. We posted a positive review of the Morrisburg dock in the guide, but we have now advised visiting boaters not to stop here until the repairs are complete.
I am very concerned about how long it is going to take to get the dock repaired. The township has given no estimate on this, and I fear that work may not even start this year.
I think that this matter should be treated as an urgent priority and that every effort should be made to finish the repairs as soon as possible.
Also in this edition: