FOCB NEWS UPDATE
Recommendations To Address Crowding/Other Issues at Bay Beach Presented to Council
On Monday, February 11, 2019, Maureen Woods, representing the Crystal Beach Advisory Committee presented recommendations of the committee to Fort Erie Town Council. Her full presentation can be read HERE.
The major points of her presentation were that the town charge a $5.00 entrance fee to all non-residents with children under 16 entering free. Residents and non-full time tax payers would have to provide photo ID to enter for free, photo ID being available at Town Hall for those taxpayers without ID with local address; better professional security company overseeing the visitors while having by-law enforcement capabilities; summer students doing clean-up; better signage and “in and out” privileges for paying guests to encourage local shopping, restaurant use; and parking machines kept in working order.
Woods explained that the entrance fee would go toward beach maintenance and security coverage, citing that, based on a beach limit of 3000 visitors, the town could recoup nearly $7500 every busy day in summer. That could mean $60,000 over a mere eight weekend days in the height of the summer season. Good summer weather would increase those figures, especially in July and August.
There will be more discussion and meetings before the recommendations are voted on/put into place. Some of the problems from the Summer of 2018 will be rectified when the new Bay Beach park and facilities opens in late spring this year. Permanent washrooms will alleviate issues caused by temporary washroom facilities located off the beach. The lack of proper enforcement for large tents, BBQs and smoking on the beach could be eliminated with professional security with by-law enforcement powers.
Our best-kept secret of a great, sandy beach has been discovered by people from all over. It is incumbent that the community work together to make the beach experience better for visitors and residents alike. Thanks to the hard work of the Crystal Beach Advisory Committee that process has begun.
First Meeting of the Year for FOCB
It was a dark and stormy night, but not as stormy as the previous week as the Friends of Crystal Beach met on Thursday, February 7, 2019 for its first meeting of the new year. The original meeting at the Crystal Ridge Library scheduled for January 31, had to be cancelled due to blizzard conditions that settled in to the area. The weather cleared quickly over the early part of the first week of February but rain and later strong winds made the 7:00 p.m. meeting a challenge for some.
Winnie Swalm, current chair of the Crystal Beach Beautification Committee gave a quick update on the group’s plans for the season while thanking the Friends of Crystal Beach for its yearly donations to the group’s efforts which include flowers along Ridgeway Road, planters on Erie Road, and decorated bicycles. The beautification committee volunteers maintain the plants and flowers. Winnie announced that there will be a new beautification chair, Bruce Lowther, who, with his wife Andrea, settled into Crystal Beach after a visit where they were impressed by the great floral displays throughout the village. Winnie, who started the beautification effort in Crystal Beach has decided to take a well-deserved rest after years of leading the award-winning beautification team.
Shirley Grace, Acting Chair of the meeting, assured Winnie that the FOCB would gladly donate to the committee’s efforts once the Board of Directors has met to direct the donation.
Gayle Martineau reported on the many upcoming activities sponsored by the FOCB. The Waterfront Concert Series has been booked for four Sundays in July and August; the Circle of Art is on track for July 20; The End of Summer Parade will take place on August 31; the 5K Run/Walk on October 12; and the Spreading Christmas Cheer Dinner and Carol Sing will be held on Tuesday, December 3 at the Crystal Ridge Community Centre.
This meeting was the first time the FOCB used the library projection equipment to show the meeting agenda and minutes of the previous meeting so that everyone could see clearly and, according to Shirley Grace, saved the planet about eighteen sheets of paper. Now that Secretary Sharon Bowers has figured out the way to use the projection system, pictures and other important information can be shown during meetings.
The meeting adjourned after about forty-five minutes, thus giving attendees the chance to get home to watch the “Big Bang Theory.” LOL
The Scheduled February Meeting of the FOCB will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at the Crystal Ridge Library at 7:00 pm.
Something’s Missing in Crystal Beach.
To many, the “Welcome to Crystal Beach” sign on the hill at Ridgeway Road is the gateway to our beautiful beach town. It has been there for a couple of decades, erected by some members of the Friends of Crystal Beach who fashioned the sign themselves. Later, flowers were added, along with an old rowboat.
However, time and nature have taken their toll on the sign. It leaned over and often looked like it was going to fall down completely. So, the Friends of Crystal Beach decided it was time to replace the venerable old sign and contracted Mike from M&J Signs in Ridgeway to remove the sign; store it; and then make a replacement. We’ll keep you updated as to the progress of the project.