By Pat Grubb
The county’s decision not to fix and reinstall the dock at Lighthouse Marine Park has gotten a lot of people in Point Roberts upset. Among them, the members of the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee. In a March 27 letter to county executive Jack Louws, the committee laid bare its concerns.
The letter began with a history of what the group called “the systematic dismantling of Lighthouse Marine Park. Twenty years ago, Lighthouse Marine Park had a significant boardwalk; a whale watching tower; an orca information center; a “chow hut”; a boat launch and floating dock; a children’s playground and a group and individual campgrounds and picnic area, including washroom facilities.
“In the past several years, the park has seen 60 percent of the boardwalk removed; the orca center and whale watching tower removed; the dock removed, and then replaced many years later with an inferior product developed and designed without consideration for the conditions and the environment in which they were to exist, which resulted in its removal again; a fix of an inferior product that was doomed to fail again; and now ultimately what seems to be their final failure and removal for repurposing to another county park facility.”
Stressing the important role of parks in attracting tourism, the group blamed the decision as “the almost inevitable result of doing things “for” Point Roberts without any input from Point Roberts” and told Louws that the community deserves “a functioning and durable floating dock as an integral part of the park, as was the case for over 15 years before the latest debacle was foisted on the community.
“Moving forward, we would like to see more significant engagement with the community and a significant investment in to the properties that Whatcom County Parks has been entrusted to preserve and manage here in Point Roberts; a long term plan to install sensible and viable structures and facilities in our parks and a maintenance program which takes into consideration the very existence of Point Roberts, geographically and economically,” the letter concluded.
The county executive is the featured speaker at the Point Roberts Registered Voters Association’s meeting tonight at the Gulf Road community center at 6 p.m. Besides Jack Louws, parks director Michael McFarlane, county council members Carol Frazey and Satpal Sidhu and other county officials are also expected to attend.
By Pat Grubb