Dept. Fisheries looking at handing over lighthouse to commission
PARRSBORO: Sprucing up the Parrsboro Harbour Lighthouse is set to resume for this summer's projects.
"We're hoping to begin renovations to the lighthouse sometime in June," Parrsboro and Area Harbour Commission member Trueman Johnson said.
Last fall Johnson and fellow harbour commission member Walter Best unBdertook the task of fixing up the outside of the lighthouse. Work they completed last year included scraping the paint and repainting the outside of the building and replacing cement blocks wherever necessary.
Johnson says before they start any new work this year they have to touch a few areas where the paint came off from winter weather.
"We (harbour commission) have a proposal in with DFO for additional work such as the roof and a new door that will hopefully get done this summer," Johnson said.
Johnson says Coast Guard, a branch of DFO, has been a great help with last year's renovations and anticipates the Coast Guard to be of great assistance again this summer.
The Harbour Commission member also says that DFO has indicated their interest in having the Harbour Commission take over the maintenance of the Parrsboro Harbour lighthouse.
DFO representative out of Halifax Perry Rideout has been working with the harbour commission on the lighthouse issue.
Rideout explained that on occasion there are situations where a community organization can take over a lighthouse in their community.
"The Parrsboro Harbour liughthouse is a functioning lighthouse and there are no firm plans in the making to turn the light off," Rideout said. "Therefore in such a case the community organization that wishes to take over the lighthouse must agree to properly maintain the lighthouse and allow the coast guard to maintain the navigational aid."
According to Johnson the Harbour Commission and DFO have an agreement in place until October 2008 at which point Johnson said the harbour commission will have to look at options available to them at that time.
"The work done last year was mostly done through private donation which we still have some funds left from those donations last year," Johnson said.
Johnson also says if the harbour commission does take over maintaining the lighthouse they will probably form a Lighthouse Preservation Committee under the umbrella of the harbour commission.