More information city councillors were given during their February meeting to discuss the future of Pointe Des Chenes campground has turned out to be misleading.
SaultOnline has already established there was a wait list for the park after Susan Hamilton-Beach had stated to council there was not one for last season. Now another inconsistency has been pointed out in a letter sent to Mayor Christian Provenzano and councillors earlier this week by Murray Hayes.
He paraphrased in his letter part of a comment made by CAO Malcolm White, “while there is the odd municipality that does operate a campground” and then questioned if council does their own research.
In our promise to be transparent to our readers, SaultOnline has placed the full comment made by White here.
“Certainly, the operation of a campground is not a mandated municipal service. While there is the odd municipality that does operate campgrounds, it is something that’s over and above what would normally be called the traditional municipal services that are provided,” said White. “So when we look at traditional municipal services in the recreational area, you would think more of swimming pools, municipal arenas, outdoor sports fields and those types of things rather than a an overnight campground.”
Hayes letter continues with an adage not heard much anymore.
“I subscribe to the old saying that ‘don’t believe everything you hear, and only half of what you see’. Have any of our Councillors done their own research on this – or do the just accept the misleading information that they have been fed as fact?”
He then listed only a handful of the municipalities which can be found to have campgrounds when he did a quick google search. He noted our two nearest cities, Thunder Bay and Sudbury, own three and two campgrounds respectively.
He further noted that in his quick search he found Ottawa, Meaford, Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough also operate campgrounds in some fashion.
SaultOnline was able to learn from Lions Club representative Janet Gawne via e-mail that they would be “open to discussing it with the City,” if the decision was reversed. Some of the cities Hayes listed as a result of his quick search operate their campgrounds similar to the way PDC was operated.
The letter ends with a suggestion and then a point about the Marina.
“Perhaps we should get directly involved in both owning and operating this campground so we can get a fair return on this investment. Seems to work for our city owned & operated marinas doesn’t it? Or are Marinas a mandated core service? I fail to see the difference – but (I) don’t have a big boat – just looking for a quiet and peaceful place to put my trailer.”
Hayes currently has only received one reply from a councillor about his letter. His full letter can be viewed in the Save Pointe Des Chenes group on Facebook.
Follow SaultOnline as we continue to bring you information on this file while we wait for the Freedom of Information request to be completed by the city.