Campgrounds, Marinas and saving money

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The campground at Pointe Des Chenes sign hangs out front on a cold day. (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

It has become clear in reporting on the closing of overnight camping at Pointe Des Chenes, the city wanted to save money and trim non-core services. Mayor Christian Provenzano said it best in a response to a constituent.

“To put it simply, we aren’t in the business of running campgrounds,” said Provenzano.

Councillor Matthew Shoemaker stated during the Feb 8, 2021 meeting that investing the $275,000 would only benefit “a couple of 100 folks, 120-150 families, made up of a couple 100 to 200 people all together.”

So two of the questions campers have posed is, “What other ‘non-core services’ does the city have? And what about the marinas?

The 2019 capital budget approved the replacement of a significant amount of infrastructure at the Roberta Bondar Marina at an amount of $800,000. The funds were used to replace the docks.

The Roberta Bondar Marina, according to drawings, now has a capacity for 48 boats to be tied up at any given time, so a few hundred people.

If you look through the budgets for the past few years, the city has operated both Marinas combined at a loss to the taxpayer. More specifically, since 2018 the total loss appears to amount to $79,948.

In 2018, the Bondar Marina operated at a loss of $31,714 whereas the Bellevue Marina saw a profit of $12,400.

In 2019, the Bondar Marina operated at a loss of $26,775 and the Bellevue Marina at a loss of $416.

in 2020, the year of COVID, the Bondar Marina operated at a loss of $36,425 and the Bellevue profited by $2,982.

Although not directly profitable to the city, the Lions club has stated it gave approximately $50,000 in revenues earned from the park to local charities each year.

SaultOnline is still waiting for the Freedom of Information request from the city which we expect to have sometime before May 1, 2021. Stay with us as we continue to follow-up on the PDC file.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Your efforts into finding the truth behind this very sad story is appreciated by all involved. Keep up the good work. Far too many campers, families and friends being hurt by this decision. This Campground has been operating for at least 50+ years “as a Campground” and us even listed in our own city directory as Pointe Des Chenes Park and Campground – all one and the same! Belongs under Parks and Recreation … which is a core municipal service. After all, that is where we keep our Recreation Vehicles (RV). This decision smacks of discrimination against all Campers.

  2. Thank You Dan,it will be interesting to find out the Truth about Point Des Chene Campground .
    My suspicion is that the land is more value as SUBDIVISION with a,High Tax revenue for the City.That like that Studio Deal ,,questionable a steal for the developers .

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