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Andrea Gunn
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Bishop’s Falls aiming to improve waterfront

The Town of Bishop’s Falls is starting work on some big changes to the community.

Anyone who has ever been to the small central Newfoundland community can tell they have something very special, situated along the scenic Exploits River. It’s one of the best spots in the province for salmon fishing. The riverfront also makes a wonderful location for events, camping, picnics, and hiking.

Now the town has decided to proceed with development of the waterfront and upgrading of Fallsview Park.

That decision was made on the adoption of a resolution presented by the town’s Economic Development Committee at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting.

The resolutions called for the Town to proceed with plans to meet with both the federal Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and provincial department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development (IBRD) on funding for the two projects.

Mayor Bob Hobbs said with the upgrades, Council envisions Bishop’s Falls becoming the recreation salmon fishing capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We’ve been working on this in conjunction with ACOA trying to come up with . . . a plan to approach it in what we need where we need to go and what kind of things that would include,” he said. “We’re specifically looking at developing and fixing up our park, and a new thing (we’re looking at) is plans to enhance the use of our river. And it’s not only one specific area, we’re trying to use the whole waterfront.”

Hobbs said the Town an engineering plan has already been drafted for Fallsview Park that will include more camping sites with sewage and electricity, as well as some other things the mayor said he’s not prepared to talk about just yet.

For the waterfront development, Hobbs said the plan is to put in place more boat launches, install signage to identify the salmon pools throughout the community, build kiosks explaining different attractions, install picnic benches, and improve walking trials. He said the waterfront development is still in planning stages.

“The idea is . . . not necessarily just to enhance what we have for ourselves but to bring in tourists from outside,” Hobbs said. “We want to improve the whole waterfront and (create) a sense that this is going to be the salmon centre of Newfoundland.”

Hobbs said each part of the development could cost around a million dollars, and the town will seek funding from ACOA and IBRD to help pay for it.

 “We’re hoping to sit down fairly quickly with the . . . agencies and work on financing arrangements; if possible, we might be working on it this summer,” he said.

Hobbs said improving the park, waterfront, and fishing facilities will have a myriad of benefits for the town.

The mayor said one of the benefits for the town and region is that people who come to visit and stay in the park will make purchases at local grocery stores and gas stations.

“It’s certainly going to enhance the river, it will be a money generator for the community,” said the mayor. “It will be an attraction that will bring people to the community, and it will expand into other tourist attractions we have here.”

 

agunn@advertisernl.ca

Organizations: Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency, Economic Development Committee, Committee of the Whole Department of Innovation Rural Development

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Fallsview Park, Exploits River

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