Souris plans $500,000 beach development

Ryan Ross
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Preliminary concept plan for the proposed Souris Beach development.

Visitors to Souris could soon see a new look to the beach at the town’s entrance thanks to a proposed $500,000 development plan.

Denis Thibodeau, the town’s deputy mayor, said the area is attractive but could use some work.

“It really is a fantastic beach and it’s right there on the side of the road,” he said.

The town hired a Dartmouth-based company called Ekistics Planning and Design to develop the plan for the waterfront.

That work cost $27,700 with $13,300 coming from the province.

In 2008 Ekistics presented an initial concept that was updated and presented to the town several weeks ago.

Included in the plan were improvements to the existing boardwalk and parking lot, more retail space, playground upgrades and removal of groynes used to control erosion.

Although the final price tag hasn’t been tallied yet, the town estimates the development will cost about $500,000.

Thibodeau said part of the plan involves removing some of the utility poles that line the edge of the beach.

“They sort of impede the beauty of the area and maybe something can be done with that,” he said.

Ekistics presented the plan during a recent public meeting and is working on revisions with input from council and the public, Thibodeau said.

“We should have that any day now.”

Thibodeau said once the town gets the revised plan it will then look for funding from other sources to help pay for the project.

To help get that funding the town committed $100,000 in its budget, Thibodeau said.

“We’re not begging for money. We’re an equal partner.”

Thibodeau said the town council hopes to get work started this year to have everything finished in time for next summer.

Ekistics representative Jill Robertson said she met with the town’s steering committee at the start of the project and they reviewed work that was done in 2008.

The company is revising the plan based on what it heard from the public and the updated plan should be ready this week, she said.

“In general the public was very favourable to this plan.”

Robertson said there won’t be a lot of changes, but the new plan won’t include a drop off area that was included in the initial concept and people felt wasn’t necessary.

There will also be some changes to the shoreline engineering and how the project will address the seawall, Roberston said.

“We’re reviewing a couple of technical options for that.”

Robertson said the plan was a combination of trying to develop a destination type of open space that benefits the community and acts as a tourist draw.

“If it works for the community it generally works for people visiting the community,” she said.

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Recent comments

  • John duck
    September 20, 2012 - 20:05

    Oh here we go again, stupidity unleashed, ---- fixing and old school wil radon problems, instead of making a new one, ---- and then thinking of messing with nature to the tune of $500.000, - wasting $ on the study. This is the same people proposing closing Water St. in Charlottetown to make more room for the concert site. The people of Souris is never going to see that money returned, - no matter how we slcie it, Souris is off the beaten track, and people going there will come as the beach is naturally and not be impressed by what is proposed. Just look at St. Peters, did all that artifical 'water front development' do anything what so ever? It looks stupid and is not putting any money in the porcket of the tax payers there. An other silly make work project. Souris people don't fall for it, stay unique and save your money.

  • SG
    September 20, 2012 - 10:04

    @Frank: According to this Report the Design cost was $27,700, the Province Contributed $13,300. Where the $500,000. will come from I don't know but the taxpayers' shouldn't be paying for it. Given the increases we're already experiencing plus the proposed HST being implemented which will Add 14% tax to our Electricity Bills, plus the extra products and services that will have HST added including Vehicle Registrations Islanders can't afford anymore Increases! Let's also remember many Islanders currently No Longer Have Employment due to Lay Offs and lack of Job Opportunities.

  • Darrin Deveau
    September 20, 2012 - 08:54

    Altho I like to see progress in Souris, I would be very leery of too much expansion onto the beach system. I have a BSC in Geology and this beach system is not very stable and quite vulnerable in my view. We should not do anything to jeopardizr the beach system stability...replacing natural materials that stabilize the sand with pavement is very bad..

  • SG
    September 20, 2012 - 08:08

    $500,000. to development a plan! Why not use that money to give our Fish a Healthy Home? Remember the $s to bring Regis and Kelly here to Promote our Beautiful Natural Island? Now lets tear up our NATURAL Shorelines, Beaches and Parks so they will look the same as the REST of the world! Coney Islands are a dime a dozen! Natural Beauty ....... PRICELESS! $500,000. so our Tourists can see the same as they see Home!! Please stop destroying our Natural Beauty there is no amount of money that will Ever Be Able To Replace our Unique, Natural, Beauty and Landscapes! Why are we paying six digit figures to destroy what many other places around the world would be ecstatic to own, promote and enjoy? Why not use that money to give our Fish and Sealife a Safe Environment?

  • Just A Suggestion
    September 20, 2012 - 07:58

    @ budget beagle , please enlighten me , does not all the money in these buckets you speak about not come from me & the other taxpayers . Therefor should it not be used wherever it is most needed & at this point in time . Beach improvement does not seem very high on the list with the way things are here on PEI at present . Maybe paying back some of the money every Islander now owes because of Ghiz might be a smarter move .

  • Island voter
    September 20, 2012 - 07:07

    If the estimate is 500,000.00 and the town is budgeting 100,000.00; then where is the balance comming from for this much needed project.

  • Ben MacDonald
    September 20, 2012 - 06:35

    The plans look great! A huge step in the right direction for the Town of Souris.

  • close longworth
    September 20, 2012 - 06:28

    Now that it looks like the school issue is going ahead one way or another (thanks a lot Ghiz...) why doesn't the town close that section of Longworth between the school properties? It's not like this is a big town. People can get around the different blocks. Oh yeah, and for the beach, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That $500k can be used for moving houses away from the eroding cliffs or something more useful.

  • budget beagle
    September 20, 2012 - 06:27

    dear student: don't you realize that these are different buckets of money? In PEI (as elsewhere) money doesn't just flow from one bucket to another. We have a health bucket, a school bucket a road bucket a concert bucket and a sand bucket. This is from the sand bucket. Sorry. Can't spend money on schools or health care with that.

  • Heather
    September 20, 2012 - 05:29

    Hmm... the province can spend $500,000 on a new beach front but with the concerns of the old school.. they can't afford to build a new school which seems to be more important as it's for children's education? how does that make sence?

    • Frank
      September 20, 2012 - 08:51

      The province isn't paying for this new beach. It's up to the town of Souris to get funding for it.

  • townie
    September 19, 2012 - 21:36

    Good for Souris. Heard there is also a tims and new pharmacy coming. Things are looking up for the community.

  • Student
    September 19, 2012 - 20:49

    Half a million to make an already great beach better....but what about making the students in the schools better so they can make enough money to help the town? Just asking.