Journal-Pioneer Newspaper – Published on January 9, 2012
Photo: Cap-Egmont Lighthouse - cf. Google Images
CAPE EGMONT – Residents of the Evangeline region will soon be asked whether they wish to take over responsibility for the Cape Egmont Lighthouse and if so which organization should take it over.
L’Association touristique Evangeline (the local tourism association) will begin serious discussions on these topics during a free information breakfast Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8:30am at the Centre Expo-Festival in Abram-Village.
To register for the breakfast, contract Bonnie Gallant at 902-854-3663 or at firstname.lastname@example.org before Jan. 17.
The association said the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified 47 lighthouses and marine lights, including the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, as surplus and no longer wants them.
It is first offering them to community groups that would want to assume responsibility for them.
If no group makes an effort on the lighthouses before May 2012, the government will put the remaining ones up for public sale.
Believing the Cape Egmont lighthouse has the potential of being developed into a tourists attraction, the ATE is interesting in seeing that the structure is saved.
It wants to feel the pulse of its community on this matter and has already formed a committee to look at various development possibilities for the site.
If the community decides to take charge of the local lighthouse, it will get until May to submit an official request containing 25 signatures, notes the ATE.
Next, the group charged with the project would have a minimum of three years to develop and submit a business plan for the site. If the plan was accepted by the government, the site would then be transferred to the group.
During the breakfast, participants will be briefed on all conditions of transfer and legal responsibilities of such a takeover and as well as on results of research that has been done so far.
Officials will then explain the various steps that need to be taken if the community is ready to accept the challenge.
The ATE and RDEE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council) have been studying this matter for quite some time; they felt the timing was right to have a discussion about available options for the site with the community.
These two organizations are ready to continue working on the lighthouse project to ensure its development and long-term success.