That’s how Beachside councillor Vincent Bennett described what $500,000 in federal government funding to repair the dilapidated wharf in the community meant to its residents.
Scott Simms, federal MP for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, was joined by Brian Warr, provincial MHA for Baie-Verte-Green Bay, and several town representatives and residents Saturday for the announcement.
Bennett said the council he served on for the past four years lobbied government for assistance in replacing and/or repairing the wharf, which just recently collapsed in one area. He said lobbying had been ongoing from the community before his term.
“We have been lobbying that long, people in Beachside had sort of given up on it,” he said. “Persistence paid off.”
The $500,000 is being provided through the Small Craft Harbours program.
Bennett said the wharf represents a breakwater for the town’s infrastructure inside of it. He said the lift station and sewer infrastructure, as well as the road and fishers’ private wharves, could have been jeopardized. The people of Beachside have been concerned for quite some time about the possible devastation that could have resulted.
“If we were open to the wide-open North Atlantic, we would have been compromised, no doubt,” Bennett said.
While Beachside is no longer the fishing community it once was, there are still fishers in the area whose operations have been problematic as a result of the wharf’s condition.
Bennett praised Warr for his efforts to bring the situation to Simms’ attention. He said both government representatives showed a genuine interest in their situation, and worked toward getting the funding for the resolve.
A tender for the work was supposed to be released this week, and it is hoped the work can be done this year.