Lighthouse delays frustrate community group

Delays in handing over lighthouses to communities are causing frustration and leading some groups to lose interest.

Blockhouse lighthouse committee has heard nothing from government since submitting business plan

The Blockhouse Lighthouse committee has not heard from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans since it submitted its business proposal two and a half years ago. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

Delays in handing over lighthouses to communities are causing frustration and leading some groups to lose interest.

The Blockhouse Point Lighthouse, on Charlottetown Harbour, is one of the 13 lighthouses classified as having outstanding issues that could take years to solve before ownership is transferred from the federal government.

It is getting difficult for the Blockhouse Lighthouse committee to keep up interest. Shown here at the lighthouse are members Doug Miller, Marie Stretch, Carol Carragher and Errol Taylor (l-r). (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

The lighthouse is the first one tourists see on cruise ships when they enter the harbour. A local community group wants to restore it and turn it into a rental unit for tourists. But the group says it's had no update from DFO as to when that might happen since it handed in its business proposal two and half years ago.

Errol Taylor, Vice-chair of the community group, said it's hard to maintain support for a project, with no end date in sight.

“It's frustrating really, because we had really high interest when we formed our organization, and that's three years ago now, everbody was full of energy and wanted to get things rolling,”

“Then we had to submit this business plan, and then wait, wait, wait. People are losing energy. We have an accountant in our group, and the last time I talked to her, she said, I am losing energy, I'm losing interest.”

DFO says nine of the 22 P.E.I. lighthouse groups waiting to get ownership will have the buildings transferred by June of this year.

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