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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Mixed Reviews for Port Elgin Beach Revitalization Project

Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski  

Out of 39 speakers 21 spoke in favour of the development; 16 had concerns and two were non-committal.

Photo by John Divinski, © 2019 

About 200 people jammed into the Rotary Hall at the Plex to talk Port Elgin Beach waterfront revitalization.

Thirty-nine people signed up to speak and 21 spoke in favour of the development; 16 had concerns or didn't want to see the project go ahead and two were non-committal.

One of the developers Pier Donnini says because the result wasn't skewed negative, it shows to him the town really wants the development.

He certainly has the support of young adult Emma Martin of Southampton who believes the plan will be successful.

Martin says, "Change could be a good thing if we take the steps to make sure it is properly executed."

Many of those against the proposal are concerned about the size of the project and the speed at which it is being moved ahead.

Port Elgin businessman Tim Taziar says he believes the plan is too big for the area and won't draw the people they want such as young families.

He suggests they scale back the plans.

Donnini admits they have to do a better job of showing people the scale of the project, stating, "It is not significantly bigger than what is historically been down there (at the beach)."

He says he's going to work on some better diagrams to more clearly show it to the public in the future. 

The project will be called The Cedar Crescent Village, remembering the Cedar Crescent Casino of bygone days.

The proposed restoration will include things such as a full restaurant; a Convention Hall, a Sunset viewing Tower, kids camps and in the winter, a skating rink.

Donnini also says they will have a train which will be electric and will not need a track system to operate.

Project cost is estimated at 5-to-7-million-dollars which will come from private sector funds.

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