Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame and Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and other local dignitaries were on hand Thursday to announce funding for Phase 1 of the town’s Exploits River tourism strategy.
The strategy hopes to enhance the area’s appeal to tourists looking for a year round destination.
Construction of the slipway and parking lot on Station Rd and a new boat launch at the Fallsview Park comprises Phase 1.
The initial phase also calls for the town to develop the Trestle View Interpretation Park - a trestle viewing area for tourists that would be illuminated every night, according to the strategy available on the town’s website.
The park would also include a canoe/kayak launch.
The overall strategy calls on the town to build “a diversified adventure on the Exploits River.”
“They’re going to begin stage one in July and hopefully they’ll have a completion of that by September,” said Mitchelmore. “They have a plan, and having a clear plan allows you to meet initiatives and expectations so that you can create new oppoutunities…, and that will lead to new economic spinoffs for the region.”
Funding for the project will come from three levels.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) today announced $536,977 from their Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) towards this project.
Minister Mitchelmore and MHA Jerry Dean announced $250,000 from the department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation.
Mayor Hobbs announced that the Town of Bishop’s Falls would also contribute $393,488 to the project.
“We’re hoping to get a fair chunk of it done by the end of the summer,” said Bishops Falls Mayor Bob Hobbs. “We obviously have to go to the engineers first to get a complete design of everything we need and that will get the exact funding costs, then we’ll start construction immediately.”