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Nice article in the Telegraph Journal today regarding Mispec Beach

24 Sep

Helen Shideler is worried about Mispec Beach. Photo: Peter Walsh/Telegraph-Journal

Local News – City will request disaster funding for Mispec

Carolyn Thompson

Telegraph-Journal

24 Sep 2012 08:40AM

SAINT JOHN – Helen Shideler says Mispec beach used to be a vibrant place.

As a child, she would visit the beach in the summers with her family, playing in the sand and water. Later on, the artist drew inspiration from the roar of the water and sweeping shoreline for her paintings.

But during her most recent visit to the beach this summer, in search of shorebirds, the only impression she was left with was one word: lonely.

“There were no people playing, there were no sounds,” she said. “It was just a lonely place.”

The beach, which is strewn with litter and remains damaged from a heavy storm in 2010, has not been maintained since the former Saint John Common Council cut funding in this year’s budget as part of broader efforts to set cash aside to pay a looming bill to shore up the municipal pension plan’s massive deficit. Many residents have rallied for funding to install washrooms and garbage bins, repair damage, and clean up litter at the beach, without much success.

A report to be presented to Common Council at Monday’s meeting will address a part of those concerns. On July 16, councillors asked the city manager to apply for disaster funding through the Province of New Brunswick. The Disaster Financial Assistance Program will reimburse expenses for measures taken to repair flood and storm damage and prevent further erosion.

The report recommends that council put out a request for proposals for restorative work at Mispec Park, including the construction of a new gravel walkways to the beach and the installation of rip rap along the slope of the shoreline.

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