Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith has stepped down from the select committee charged with overseeing the fate of Sidney’s Beacon Wharf citing work commitments and schedule. (Town of Sidney/Submitted)

Mayor steps down from committee overseeing fate of Sidney’s Beacon Wharf

Cliff McNeil-Smith cites work commitments, schedule behind decision

The committee overseeing the eventual fate of an iconic landmark in Sidney will elect a new chair after Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith stepped down, citing work commitments.

McNeil-Smith made the announcement during his Mayor’s Report at the July 20 council meeting and recommended Coun. Chad Rintoul serve in his place.

The announcement comes as the committee prepares to hold its first meeting in what McNeil-Smith calls the “near future” with no firm date established.

RELATED: Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

RELATED: Pending repairs to Sidney wharf could impact tourism, local business

Council last month announced the appointment of residents Scott Dallimore and Rob Milne alongside Couns. Sara Duncan and Peter Wainwright to the select committee charged with reviewing options for replacing, or removing and not replacing the wharf with a final report by Dec. 31 — the termination date of the committee.

Council started the process of creating the committee earlier this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, after receiving a report by SNC-Lavalin, the company hired to study the feasibility of rebuilding the wharf following completion of the municipality’s Downtown Waterfront Vision in 2018.

The report pegs the remaining design life of the current wharf — which has been standing at the end of Beacon Avenue for more than 50 years — at less than 10 years. Sidney assumed ownership of the iconic facility after the federal government divested itself of the facility.

That same report also presented council with seven replacement options (with one option featuring a sub-option) that ranged in costs from $6.3 million to $20.8 million, with the important proviso that the company ultimately short-listed four options ranging in costs from $6.3 million to $14.2 million.


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