Norfolk council put off by high price tag

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

(Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association photo)

(Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association photo)


Some things are necessary while other things are just nice to have.

Norfolk council made that distinction this week when it turned down a request to incorporate a viewing platform into the Misner dam rehabilitation project in Port Dover.

The Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association suggested the platform to Norfolk council in January. The association says a viewing platform facing east would provide a picturesque view of the boathouses and basin in the Lynn River at the base of the dam.

Council, however, is put off by the estimated cost. In a report to council Tuesday, Norfolk public works says a proper platform would add between $335,000 and $435,000 to the estimated $1.1 million cost of stabilizing the dam.

Mayor Charlie Luke said this is not a good use of county money.

“We don’t know that this $1.1 million is going to do the job,” Luke said. “We hope it does, but at this point we don’t know.”

At issue are remnants of a steel bridge and a concrete bridge that once linked Chapman Street East in Port Dover with the Cockshutt Road. The waterfront association is interested in modifying the concrete bridge as an attraction for tourists, hikers and residents of the town.

As a result of Tuesday’s decision, both the steel and concrete remnants will be removed as part of the overall rehabilitation project. The estimated cost of doing so is in the range of $50,000.

“I’d love to support all these lovely things, including an observation deck,” said Simcoe Coun. Peter Black, an advocate for basic road rehabilitation in Norfolk. “But we have so many other priorities other than aesthetic work.”