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“It has a lot of potential,” she said. “It would be beautiful with some landscaping.”
Former city parks director Phil Roberts included what he called a “rather lofty recommendation” for Sand Point in the 2016 parks master plan. He wanted to designate it a Blue Flag Beach, an internationally recognized designation awarded to beaches that meet strict criteria for accessibility, environmental management, education and safety. There are only 29 in Canada. Sarnia, Grand Bend and Bayfield have Blue Flag beaches. Why can’t we?
City council named Sand Point a priority during a strategic planning meeting last year. The city tests the water quality there and hires a lifeguard to supervise swimmers.
But there’s no money in Windsor’s capital budget for Sand Point until 2024, when $227,500 is budgeted to hire a consultant to conduct an environmental assessment on moving the beach farther east, away from the precipitous drop and strong current near the shipping channel, and redeveloping it.
Sand Point isn’t only a Ward 7 issue. It’s an issue for the whole city.
So why aren’t candidates talking about it?
They talk about parks. Many talk about quality of life. But only two of the 12 candidates, Mike Malott and Greg Lemay, include Sand Point in their platforms. It’s been mentioned once, by Lemay, in two debates.
Malott talked about a small amphitheatre, a covered pavilion for shade, barbecues and leasing the concession to different restaurants.
“The possibilities are endless,” he said.
Lemay wants to see the site cleaned up, fresh sand added, canoe rentals and updated bathrooms. He canoed with his daughter from Sand Point to Peche Island several years ago for a picnic.
“It’s something you don’t get to do every day,” he said. “I think that’s something that improves the quality of life.”
That’s what voters should be hearing.