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.