Pither’s Point dock in limbo

The Town of Fort Frances has closed the government dock at Pither’s Point and strictly forbidden swimmers to use the structure, which has become worse for wear.
“It’s been closed because of concern over its structural integrity,” said Community Services manager George Bell, pointing out for those who haven’t seen it themselves that there’s a “big bend in it.”
“Doug Brown, our engineer, took a look at it and is very concerned it’s no longer structurally sound,” Bell added. “So we had it closed until we get a full engineering report.
“We’ll be doing it as quickly as we can. We’ll get an estimate for repairs and council will have to decide, given its condition and the cost, whether or not it [the dock] will remain,” noted Bell.
“There’s a good section of that dock that’s in ill repair, so it is something that’s going to be on the plate of council to make a decision about,” echoed Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig.
“I know Doug has had a preliminary look at it, but once we’ve had a chance to get a closer look, he’s going to give his opinion to council about the status of that dock—the quality of it in terms of the public utilizing it,” he added.
“For the long-term prospects of the dock, we’re going to be examining it and what our alternatives are,” said McCaig. “But for the time being, we urge people to stay off that dock.
“Our first and foremost concern is for our residents, and anyone that may try and use that dock.”
McCaig also noted the town has notified organizers of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship that the dock won’t be available for use in July when the boats launch each morning during the tourney.
While the weather is getting warmer and summer is on its way, McCaig said one good thing is that the government dock at Pither’s Point has not been used by swimmers nearly as much as it used to be.
“We haven’t seen a lot of traffic on that dock in recent years, so I don’t see it as being a big burden to people,” he remarked. “People are primarily utilizing the portion of the beach closer to the railway lift bridge for swimming purposes.
“I don’t [see] many people out there [at the dock] anymore.”
(Fort Frances Times)