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EDITORIAL: Recurring problem

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor - Google Images

It’s been a while coming, but people are now starting to show their concern about a recurring problem on the road leading to Little Port Harmon in Stephenville.

A cabin owner at Little Port Harmon, and a fish harvester who operates out of the location both believe it’s time for a solution to recurring road closures.

High winds and storm surges have been causing road closures at a location on Massachusetts Drive in the town located near the end of the runway at Stephenville airport.

The waves have been breaching the beach and pushing beach rocks over the road, causing the closures of the road.

While both Peter Benoit, a cabin owner, and Renny Hickey, a fish harvester, recognize that this road is on the bottom of the list to get plowed in the winter, both think there needs to be a permanent solution to the breaching of the road by waves and the beach debris they carry.

The town certainly hasn’t encouraged people living year round at Little Port Harmon but the fact is that some people have decided to do that and it’s likely there will be more doing it in the future.

The risks are realized, but the town is also collecting municipal taxes from the 50-plus cabin owners at the location without providing services that most residents of the town expect and receive.

While garbage collection, water and sewer, and snow clearing services are not provided to Little Port Harmon despite taxes being collected, then at least access to it should be expected on a regular basis.

There’s little doubt climate change has resulted in more high winds and storm surges along the beaches in this province and that the breaching of Massachusetts Drive is among those.

It’s no surprise and having to send equipment down to clean up the mess is a regular occurrence now.

Complaints were made by the Stephenville town council about problems with Noel’s Pond flooding and the provincial government was asked to address them.

Now the town needs to address some of the problems they have themselves and its time to step up to the plate and do something about it.

The road to Little Port Harmon is important for a number of reasons in that it not only leads to Little Port Harmon and the Little Port Harmon cabin area, but also Harmon Seaside Links and Harmon Seaside Park.

Many people use the area to walk, to golf and fish, and also enjoy their cabin experience so it’s important that it be kept open for all users.

Mayor Tom Rose said solving this problem is an issue he will take back to his town council to have a discussion about to try and come up with a solution.

Putting up a rock wall in the area may be a solution to a problem that is getting worse in each passing year. Something needs to be done, especially in the area that’s being breached the most.

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