Sandpoint Beach on the move as Windsor Council agrees to accelerate funding
Windsor City Council has agreed to spend money now, instead of waiting three years to explore options for the east-end beach.
The city will spend $227,500 on an environmental assessment (EA) to see how to make Sandpoint Beach even more safe for swimmers.
That money had been ear-marked within the 2024 budget, but Council agreed to accelerate that funding in light of a recent drowning.
On May 22nd, a 24 year old man drowned in the Detroit River off Sandpoint Beach.
His body wasn’t found for five days.
Windsor has already installed fencing and signage warning swimmers to stay away from the dangerous current on the western side of the beach.
Lifeguards will be on-duty, during the day, starting in July and auxiliary police officers regularly patrol the beach in the summer months.
Ward 7 Councillor Jeewen Gill and Mayor Drew Dilkens say there is still more than can do, including moving the beach itself to the east-side of the park.
In agreeing to spend the money now to explore their options, Ward 9 Councillor Kieran McKenzie worried it would “displace” other worthy projects.
Deputy Treasurer Joe Mancina said the City will have to pay a “nominal” interest charge to access the funding now, but otherwise the Sandpoint EA will not impact other projects.
City officials say an EA generally takes about a year to complete and at that time the city will be looking for more funding to proceed with whatever it recommends.
“Going forward there is some additional funding that has been laid out within the 10 year capital plan,” says Mancina.
“In later years, none of those funds, for any work to proceed on sandpoint have been pre-committed, or are being pre-committed as part of this process.”