TEXT SIZE: Decrease text size Reset text size Increase text size Print Page

MuskokaONline.com News - #GOTLOCAL

Gravenhurst businesses concerned about the impact of the Bay & Beyond restoration project
Get Local News!

Gravenhurst businesses concerned about the impact of the Bay & Beyond restoration project

Posted: 2024-05-15 08:27:07 By: thebay

Gravenhurst Council was informed about concerns that businesses at the Wharf have about the impact of the Town’s Bay & Beyond restoration project, in the May 14, 2024, meeting. Heather Fraser of Muskoka Shipyards attended the meeting on behalf of other local businesses at the Wharf, expressing concern about the affect the construction will have on public access to the area and how it will affect them. She requested that the Town waive fees for businesses associated with the use of Cockburn Square. Director of Development Services, Melissa Halford, advised that the Town intends on working with businesses that will be affected there given the challenges they face. She said they have various programs in the works, including activities like the ski show, Theatre at the Wharf, Under the Stars at Gull Lake under the Wharf, dancing, the Muskoka Discovery Centre, parasailing, and the use of Gravenhurst dollars, called Digital Dollars, that the public can use at businesses there. CAO, Scott Lucas, concurred that they have had various requests and suggestions from the public about the issue, and the Town has various programs in the works to address it. He said, “It is a robust program.” He added that information coming out about the program is also in the works.

Councillor, Sandy Cairns, inquired about whether staff planned to include a shuttle service for people going to the area by boat and that will generally help people to get to the markets, restaurants, businesses, and to and from town. She suggested that golf carts could be a good option for this. Halford advised that the Town encourages active transportation. She said, “It’s not far to walk to town.”
She added that the Town doesn’t allow motorized vehicles to the Wharf, however, people can use their bikes. “Access will be provided to parking lots - to parking,” said Halford. Fraser advised Council that she met with the Economic Development team and was informed that the Town’s initiatives would be in the evening, when businesses are closed, which is why they asked for a waiving of fees for the square during business hours. Councillor, Penny Varney, added that she met with businesses which are concerned about the rental and how they will attract people, and that they “need to move ahead without worrying about the rent.” Mayor, Heidi Lorenz, indicated to Fraser that “there is more to come” and that they will take her request into consideration as the Town wants to see the summer be successful for the area given what’s happening there. She added, “Leave it with us and the conversation will be continued.”