St. John's city council agreed unanimously today to share the cost of installing a new security fence on its harbourfront.

"The current fence is hideous," said Mayor Dennis O'Keefe, who hopes it will be gone by next summer.

Made of thin metal wires and concrete blocks, the fence is put up when cruise ships arrive in St. John's.

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The proposed design for a new fence along the St. John's Harbourfront. CBC

The St. John's Port Authority plans to replace the fence, which closes off the harbour apron so that officials can process out-of-country visitors, with a new structure that will include brick pillars, metal fencing and three viewing areas along Harbour Drive.

A city memo sent to council said the new structure will be more attractive to both city residents and cruise ship visitors.

St. John's resident Paula Sullivan agrees the present fence is an eyesore.

"It's gross," she said.

"I almost went to go look and I realized that I'm not allowed in there, so that was kind of a bummer. So even [if I wanted] to take a picture, I can't because it looks like a jail."

City manager Bob Smart recommended council commit to an expenditure of $425,000.

But Yvonne Munroe, who is visiting St. John's from Quebec, questions whether a new structure is necessary.

"For the amount of money that they are spending, I don't know — maybe they have other priorities," she said.

"Really, this fence is not that bad that they need to replace it. It isn't falling down."