Coun­cil ap­proves funds for crab­walk

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­

Cape Bre­ton Re­gional coun­cil­lors have ap­proved al­lo­cat­ing $400,000 for planned im­prove­ments to Louis­bourg’s “crab­walk,” part of Syn­ergy Louis­bourg’s plan to fur­ther de­velop tourism in the com­mu­nity.

The group plans to up­grade the ex­ist­ing board­walk, wharf and boat launch area, and re­brand it as the crab­walk, to ac­knowl­edge the com­mu­nity’s ties to the crab fish­ery. The fa­cil­i­ties were orig­i­nally built by the for­mer town of Louis­bourg and are all on prop­erty now owned by the CBRM. The to­tal cost of that com­po­nent of the plan is $1.2 mil­lion.

“What they’re propos­ing re­ally goes be­yond some re­pairs, it’s re­ally re­vi­tal­iz­ing that fa­cil­ity that’s been there for more than 20 years,” said CBRM plan­ner Rick McCready.

“The $400,000 ... re­ally is to up­grade and im­prove prop­er­ties that we own and are re­spon­si­ble for now.”

Syn­ergy Louis­bourg’s full fund­ing re­quest for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is $1.3 mil­lion over four years. Other fund­ing part­ners are ex­pected to in­clude At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency, the province and Parks Canada.

The CBRM’s funds for the board­walk im­prove­ments will come from the 2016-17 bud­get. It is con­tin­gent on fund­ing be­ing ap­proved by other lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

With the CBRM mak­ing the fund­ing com­mit­ment, there’s a rea­son­able chance the pro­ject will re­ceive word on its ACOA ap­pli­ca­tion fairly soon, McCready said.

The CBRM will also put $40,000 to­ward the es­ti­mated cost of de­sign work, a third of the to­tal.

Coun­cil also voted in favour of do­nat­ing the mo­tor ve­hi­cle home park site, with a value of about $130,000, for the con­struc­tion of a planned visi­tor cen­tre.

“We do feel it is a good op­por­tu­nity to stop visi­tors when they’re trav­el­ling through the com­mu­nity on their way to the fortress to ac­tu­ally stop in the com­mu­nity, get in­for­ma­tion, buy tick­ets to the fortress and find out more about what’s on of­fer up at the fortress,” McCready said

Parks Canada plans to close the visi­tor re­cep­tion cen­tre lo­cated at the fortress. Syn­ergy Louis­bourg’s plans for a visi­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre also in­cludes a pro­posed res­tau­rant and craft shop.

In an is­sue pa­per for coun­cil, McCready noted that com­pared to some other com­mu­ni­ties, rel­a­tively lit­tle ef­fort is be­ing made to pro­mote the com­mu­nity of Louis­bourg as a des­ti­na­tion, adding it has restau­rants, a play­house show­cas­ing lo­cal tal­ent and a coastal hik­ing trail. He said the com­mu­nity should work to­gether to mar­ket those as­sets.

“It’s all about work­ing to­gether,” Dist. 8 Coun. Kevin Sac­cary said.

Syn­ergy Louis­bourg is a group with rep­re­sen­ta­tion from a num­ber of bod­ies and busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity that are work­ing to es­tab­lish a sus­tain­able tourism ex­pan­sion pro­gram. Its full plan is ex­pected to cost about $10 mil­lion. The CBRM has de­ferred con­sid­er­a­tion of other ini­tia­tives un­der the plan un­til the crab­walk and visi­tor cen­tre com­po­nents are com­pleted.

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