Pointe Des Chenes – Focus – Solutions and Opposition

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The PDC sign taken, April 14, 2021 (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

Last month, leaders of the “Save Pointe Des Chenes” Facebook group and Mayor Christian Provenzano met in a zoom meeting.

According to the leaders, they were instructed to come up with a plan where they could possibly operate the campground this summer.

The group worked quickly and provided the city with a plan on April 11, 2021, in which it could have safe, potable, drinking water source for the campground at a cost of approximately $10,000.

Murray Hayes, one of the authors of the proposal and a camper at Pointe Des Chenes, told SaultOnline it’s much less than the $275,000 estimated earlier this year by the city.

The proposal as submitted, would see two 3,000 gallon tanks placed on the property filled with city water which the campers could then fill jugs to take back to the campground.

They admit it doesn’t fix the issues surrounding the lack of water pressure required to flush toilets in the trailers, campfire fire suppression, fire protection or washing down the Dump Station site and Honey Wagons.

The other short-term fix, to address those issue, would be to replace the PLC, failed pump and pressure tank, their best estimate at cost is between $4,000 and $8,000. The estimate can’t be more accurate as the city has not provided information requested about the current failed equipment.

The plan to save the campground, and the group in general, recently faced a detractor who was quickly removed after suggesting the effort was in some ways self-serving for the long-term members of the campground.

SaultOnline reached out to Kyle Smith and he explained the way he see’s it.

“There is no way that I or any one person could have secured a decent site in that park. Also there is no way that I or anyone could change the way the majority held the monopoly in that park,” said Smith. “Sadly they claim now it’s a loss to all of the City but that isn’t true. Only a small number are affected and it shouldn’t be the responsibility of a whole city to keep this liability open for a few any longer.”

Speaking with both former members of the group and group members, they do admit there are a lot of people who have been there for multiple years. On a recent walk through the park, gazebo’s, decks and other more permanent structures are attached to trailers which seem to have been there for a significant period of time.

“The ones mad are the constant seasonals and some others, they has known of this water issue for years…why haven’t they got it addressed?” asked Smith. “Because they were fine, because they had their spots, decks, sheds, sure a little water brought in to drink was a setback, but nothing compared to traveling out of the city like most others to seek a spot.”

Publically, the campers have been asked to have all their property out of the campground by May 15, although there have been some rumblings of that date being extended to May 30, 2021.

When SaultOnline asked Mayor Provenzano about the meeting and if the possible proposed solution could be put on the next agenda, CAO White responded on his behalf.

He explained two motions of council now, one dated Feb. 8 and one April 12, 2021, are in place regarding the closure of the campground, seemingly making it twice as hard for any chance the park may re-open this year.

“For either of those decisions to be revisited, a motion of reconsideration would have to be submitted by a mover and seconder who voted in favour of the original motion and then be considered and approved by Council, who would then consider the original item again,” said White.

As of April 18, 2021 the group had not heard back from the mayor or any councillors in regards to their proposal.

The plans for the land going forward are not yet known, but speculation in the community suggests there may be a plan in place for it to be sold.

Stay with SaultOnline as we bring you more information on the PDC file including any insight we get from our FOI which is due to us by May 1, 2021.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Good Lord! Kyle sounds like Cartman on SouthPark! The seasonal campers provide a constant source of income. Weekenders and others can all get a spot if they reserve early enough. Yes, RESERVE a spot as one would do in every campground. I can’t believe how jealous and whiny Kyle and other commenters sound regarding this issue. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Great reporting Dan…we needed to know who was working against SAVING POINTE DES CHENES.

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  2. I can’t see why the city can’t crank up the rent to those parking a trailer? I think $ 500 a month rent of the space would fit. With water supply $ 550 and the city can provide a plug for electricity for a bargain monthly rent of $ 800.
    That’s cheaper than a bachelor in town.
    Anything and everything MUST be on wheels, you can not attach a wood stick to the ground.
    Let’s be clear in that point, if you would like to park your trailer, it must be ON WHEELS and the use of the land starts April 1rst. and ends on October 31, then you remove your belongings and … see you next summer.
    No, you can’t be there permanently, because you are interfering with other animals that have the right to enjoy the area during the winter season! 🙂

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  3. Seems like a pretty fair assessment of the situation … presented from both points of view. Unfortunately, the Save Pointe Dss Chenes Group was formed to keep this beautiful, affordable and easily accessible Campground as a benefit to the entire community and its children … and to come up with ideas or propoaals leading to a solution to make this a possibility. It appears that Kyle Smith was not the least bit interested in seeing the community benefit from continued operation … and, as he is entitled to his own opinion … he obviously would not fit in well with either this group or its purpose. O he is no longer a member in my opinion. Not sure where he would fit? There are two sides to every story and every argument … like the numbers 6 and 9 … depends on your point of view. Dan, your job requires you to state the facts accurately, the way you see them, and that is what you do … and that, along with your support is most appreciated. You are most welcome as a member of this group and your contributions are immeasurable. The Save PDC Campground Committee continues in its quest to come up with an acceptable and agreeable proposal that will be offered by way of a resolution to City Council once we know we have the unconditional support of at least three councillors who voted to close the Campground based on misleading or misrepresented facts as presented, either knowingly or in error.

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  4. The reason the people left PDC last year was because if the strict rules no other camp ground had rules as strict. As for not refilling the sites, there again it was the decision of the Lions Cub not to let anyone in. As for seasonal verses weekend camping, yep there is a difference. Weekend camping probably cost me probably a third of what it cost me for a seasonal. As for having decks and gazebos, go anywhere where you have a seasonal and the option to not have to remove your trailer, once again paid to store, and you will find the same thing. Who cares if seasonal campers want to do that, it is at their own expense. If they want to stay year after year, what does it matter. There is always someone leaving and new campers that come in. It is beyond me why this concept that seasonal campers are “squating”. Seasonal campgrounds are what keeps them afloat. I think the best thing to happen here is for the City to sell it and have it run privately!

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    • If it is to be sold it will not be used as a campground , that i can guarantee. With what waterfront has been going for lately and this being prime waterfront, i will not be surprised if the usual suspects somehow end up with the property. Yup , a subdivision with the potential for many , many high end houses.

      • Really… you think that a monster home in a designated area where the City can sharp the pen and load them with taxes is a bad idea?

        What about the option of building a methadone clinic… or a recovery site for those on the street… you know, being in touch with nature helps a person to recover faster. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but, hey let’s give it a try, it’s the taxpayers money anyways.

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  5. I agree that there are many people who have camped at PDC for many years. Most seasonal campers stop camping after a few years, some move on to other campgrounds for a different experience or to join family or friends. Last year 35 campers moved out of the campground, that is more than usual. Unfortunately, due to co-vid their campsites could not be filled. Nor could the other vacant sites be filled. I have camped as a seasonal camper and as a weekend camper. Most of the time I was able to get a temporary site when I wanted one, even holiday weekends. There is room for PDC to expand if they regularly get more requests for seasonal campsites.

  6. I agree with Kyle Smith. I walked through the campground recently and it was almost all trailers with permanent additions like porches and gazebos. I don’t see how it’s on the tax payer or the city to keep this place alive that clearly only serves a select few.

  7. Dan Gray

    To say you reached out to Kyle Smith to get his opinion seems to a bit misleading. He is disgruntled for whatever reason towards seasonal campers. His statement about “not” being able to obtain a site is 100% inaccurate. Maybe he is jealous because he wants a particular site, or maybe his thoughts on what camping is supposed to be differs from others. I have already debated with him on our Save Point Des Chenes FB page, he is ignorant and belligerent.
    I joined PDC three years ago, I went for a weekend, no problem getting a spot,. Then I decided to stay as a seasonal not a problem getting a spot. His facts are not correct and obviously his opinion is just that “his”!

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