Some revelations have come to light since we published Fenced and Forgotten – Pointe Des Chenes divided over the weekend.
Members of the public, including Rick White the manager of the campground for the past four years, have come forward. What he had to say has put the information given to city council, statements which were used to form their final decision, in question.
During the discussion surrounding the campground, a couple of direct questions were asked to Susan Hamilton-Beach, the director of public works for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Marchy Bruni and Corey Gardi asked about the 50 percent usage number in the report which can be seen below. This number was provided as one of the reasons to end the lease with the Lions Club.
Bruni asked her if the 50 percent was some sort of capacity limit put in place by the Lions Club this past summer or the Provincial government.
“I believe that was just the natural usage of the sites, there was no restriction. Obviously, all social distancing, and gathering with only your family unit, those types of rules were implemented, but not a capacity limit,” said Hamilton-Beach.
Gardi asked for clarification again on the 50 percent stating he had heard different things from different users.
“There were only 50% or so capacity last summer … it was not due to COVID-19. It was simply because the demand wasn’t there. Is that what I heard you say?” asked Gardi.
“That’s certainly my understanding. We had a bit of a late start due to water issues and COVID regulations. And the 50% capacity is what settled out,” replied Hamilton-Beach.
White spoke with SaultOnline over the weekend.
“Firstly, she said the park was at half capacity cause no one wanted to come out. That was false, we were at 55 campers due to COVID and wanted to be a safe zone for the campers,” said White. “We didn’t take any come and goes for that same reason. Keep the out-of-towners out made it a safer place. We had a wait list of at least 100 people.”
He also says he still gets e-mails from the website, he added the Lions were not getting any response to e-mails they have sent to the city. We have reached out to the Lions and currently have yet to receive any communication back from them.
Given this new information and what occurred at city council, SaultOnline has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city for documents surrounding Pointe Des Chenes all the way back to 2017. The city has 30 days to respond to the request.
If you are directly impacted by the loss of this campground please reach out to me a [email protected] or leave a comment below.