Mispec Beach's future remains uncertain amid cutbacks

A Saint John city councillor is arguing other organizations should help find funding to keep Mispec Beach as a popular destination.

A Saint John beach is continuing to draw visitors even though its future is uncertain because of the city’s budget woes.

About a dozen people turned out to Mispec Beach on Sunday despite a fairly cool afternoon.

But there are no services offered at the park, which has received less attention in recent years as Saint John's financial situation worsened.

Visitors can leave their cars in the parking lot above the beach thanks to a vandal who busted the gate open last summer.

But vandals cannot open the canteen or turn on the water for the public washrooms.

Brian Harris, the chairperson for the Mispec Park Recreation Committee, said he wonders if the city would be willing to put a couple of portable toilets in place as it did last year.

"The city, they've washed their hands from it as far as putting any money in this year," he said.

The park is city-owned but just outside of Saint John’s boundaries.

"I feel so bad that the city is missing out on it, really. We've had actually cruise people, on the cruise ships, get a taxi and been out here," he said.

One city councillor said local politicians should look to alternative funding sources to keep the beach open.

Coun. Shirley McAlary said the city isn’t the only funding agency that should be used to help the beach.

"You could really work on this and see if you could get other organizations involved or other corporations or service clubs other than just the city," she said.

Saint John has been forced to reduce funding to many different organizations to deal with its budget problems.