The Davis Bay wharf is closer to being rebuilt after $150,000 was confirmed for the project by Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) this week.
"Providing bigger, better, and safer access to the stunning Davis Bay waterfront attracts new tourist dollars, and with them, opportunities for new tourism-based business," said ICET chair Phil Kent in a news release. "Revitalization and investment in new and existing businesses in the area is another expected outcome."
Sechelt Mayor John Henderson said the new wharf will provide "another reason for visitors to come here, stay longer and support our local businesses."
"Every dollar spent by visitors or by local residents enjoying expanded recreation infrastructure helps sustain local jobs. ICET funding for projects like this is a key component of Sechelt's effort to build a strong economic future for our community and region," Henderson said.
The District of Sechelt backed the Wharf Rats (the community group that is fundraising for the wharf rebuild) in applying for the ICET funding last year.
"ICET's goal is to help communities leverage investments to help spur economic growth and vitality," Kent noted. "This project is a great example of how working together with the community and local government provides tangible results with fairly modest investments."
The ICET grant for the project brings the total funding to $418,000, which means $182,000 is still needed before the $600,000 wharf rebuild can begin.
Margaret Pearson of the Wharf Rats is hopeful that work can start this spring.
"We're looking at other funding options to secure the rest of the money," Pearson said, noting the Wharf Rats are hopeful the District of Sechelt will give more to the project.
"Council has already approved funding of more than $100,000 towards this great project," Henderson told Coast Reporter this week, adding, "If approached, I am confident council will carefully consider some additional amount of funding."
The Wharf Rats are also looking to the community for more donations to the project. Those donations are tax deductible and can be sent to the Davis Bay Community Association at 5123 Davis Bay Rd., Sechelt B.C., V0N3A2.
Once built the new Davis Bay wharf will have a platform that's "four and a half times larger, there'll be a permanent float that will be left there all the time and the walkway will be wider," Pearson said, noting a gazebo will also be erected at the end of the wharf for the community to enjoy.
Find out more about the project at www.davisbay wharf.com.
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