Possibilities are almost endless for Ladysmith’s harbour

Letter writer looks for solution to the "Ladysmith harbour ongoing saga."

Editor:

Jim Szasz feels that there will never be a solution to the Ladysmith harbour ongoing saga.

This is a subject that I have been harping and nagging about for the last six years.

I was instrumental in organizing a number of very interested Ladysmith retired taxpayers to study this problem. They were all retired and experienced former business people.

We engaged an engineer that had been with Public Works Canada for approximately 30 years, and his expertise was harbours of B.C., both fresh and salt water.

The suggested remedy to clean up the harbour floor was the use of a hydraulic suction dredge. JJM construction’s CEO is a friend of mine who advises he could complete the dredging within one month with his 20-inch dredge. However, this presents a problem of where to deposit the dredge spoil once it has been lifted.

The engineer agreed with our group when we suggested placing a shot rock wall parallel to the bottom of the cliff 200 feet out from the parking lot at the public wharf all the way around slack point. This would allow the dredge spoil to be pumped behind the wall, thereby reclaiming a strip of land 200 feet wide for almost one kilometre along our harbour foreshore.

Another writer to this paper suggested a walkway for our citizens to enjoy, and this would satisfy his suggestion.

If the reclaimed foreshore was properly planned to accommodate business as well as living accommodations, the area would dramatically change the Ladysmith economy. For example, allowing 20 feet along the cliff for an alley with a 70-foot depth for buildings and 10 feet in front of the buildings for sidewalk, then 25 feet for two-way auto access and 15 feet for angle parking would leave a 60-foot-wide strip for gardens and walkway for Ladysmith citizens.

The buildings could be maritime-oriented and complimentary to our First Avenue businesses, with the trolley picking up maritime visitors going up town.

I have been told that this strip of land would have a value exceeding the cost of development.

The buildings could be storefronts at ground level with condominiums above, and they would would not come above the height of the cliff.

Does it take rocket science to realize what a terrific draw this would be for visiting boats?

This whole idea can be fleshed out to include our aboriginal citizens across the harbour.

We suggested a fresh fish market where fishermen could visit and sell their products here in Ladysmith, somewhat the same as the fisherman’s market in San Francisco.

The possibilities are almost endless, but it takes the will of our town fathers to make it happen. May I also suggest that there is plenty of talent in Ladysmith that is more than willing to form a group and spearhead this endeavour.

Don Harrison

Ladysmith