Sand for Summerside
City awards contract to ship in, spread sand on Summerside beachfront
The City of Summerside has awarded a contract to Curran and Briggs Ltd. to remediate sand at Green’s Shore.
The contract is worth $25,000 and stipulates that the company will transport, dump and spread out 1,300 tonnes of sand on the city’s main beachfront.
A request for proposals was issued for the work and Curran and Briggs was the sole respondent.
This most recent work follows 1,800 tonnes of sand that was dumped on the beach in 2014, to remediate what had previously been washed or carried away since the last time sand was added, in 2007.
City staff also indicated that more sand will have to be spread on the beach on an annual basis to keep levels at the benchmark.
The irony of paying for sand that is, in all likelihood, going to eventually wash out to sea was not lost on councillors.
However, given the beach’s esthetic prominence in the city for tourists and locals alike, as well as the added benefits of odour reduction and prevention of shoreline erosion, the Community Services Committee ultimately approved staff ’s recommendation to approve the contract. Council passed the recommendation during a special committee meeting Tuesday night.
Keeping in mind that maintaining sand levels on the beach will be an ongoing concern, councillor Brent Gallant floated the idea of taking sand from the expansive sandbars already in the harbour, rather than trucking in new sand from somewhere else on the Island, as a sensible long-term option.
However, even he conceded that getting the permits to do so might not be possible.
Director of community services, JP Desrosiers, didn’t immediately shoot down the idea, but did strongly emphasize the required environmental permitting and how difficult they are to get.
“I do know that getting the permits last year for the first round of sand remediation was quite arduous – it took about four months … we had to get provincial and federal permits,” he said.
Crews work to clear seaweed from the beach along Green Shore earlier this month. So far this spring, 70 truckloads of seaweed have been removed from the beach.