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LETTER: Beacon Wharf not worth replacing

A few years ago the federal government transferred responsibility for the Beacon Avenue wharf to the Town of Sidney after concluding the dock was no longer serving a legitimate federal purpose. The Town of Sidney acquired the wharf because the price was right and council wanted to ensure this iconic part of the town’s history was preserved.

The town’s consultants have now advised that the wharf is nearing the end of its expected life. Within five to 10 years, it will have to be removed at an estimated cost of $2 million.

I believe most Sidney residents would agree the town should retain the existing wharf for as long as reasonably possible. We understand that, at some future date, the wharf and all its improvements will have to be removed. Fortunately, when this happens, a spectacular, unobstructed vista of Mount Baker, framed by the islands of the Salish Sea will remain. After the wharf is gone, we will still be left with a world-class natural vista that will be the envy of any community.

Sidney has no obligation to replace the wharf when its day is done and taxpayers should not be asked to pay for costly “improvements” to something which offers no net benefit to residents, and serves no legitimate municipal purpose.

Sidney council should look long and hard, and listen well to its residents before agreeing to the relocation of a scrap piece of Seattle’s demolished floating bridge to our waterfront.

Richard Paquette

Sidney