North Bay City Council has approved a recommendation to move forward with completing an environmental assessment at King’s Landing.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the phased replacement of the dock and the construction of a new, southern pier will go forward immediately or even in this council’s term.

The main business at hand is completing the environmental assessment (EA) as it’s good for ten years and the process has cost $750,000 to date, much of it from government funding. Council’s stamp gives the project access to additional funds (approximately $50,000-$60,000) to complete the EA.

The plan is for the council of the day to have the ability to use that assessment when funding is secured for what is pegged as being a 16 plus million dollar project in today’s dollars.

“We’re trying to keep our options open. The expectation is that $50,000 will be the cost to maintain,” the current dock “to a minimum level for the next five years,” said the Chair of Council’s Engineering and Works committee, Councillor Chris Mayne.

“Now, having said that,” continued Mayne, “our own building department or the Ministry of Labour could come in at any time and say ‘this wharf is no longer safe to maintain vehicle traffic or pedestrian traffic, and then, all of a sudden, the decision before council becomes much more urgent.”

Barring catastrophe or engineering failure, the approved proposal is a “phased replacement,” according to a staff report. With a ten-year EA shelf-life, this sitting council might not revisit this portfolio during its term.

If funding is secured, the council of the day, in concert with staff, will have a completed EA to work with to proceed with the approved phases of the project. The dock at King’s Landing would be eased out of service, eventually becoming a “functional wave break,” for the marina with options for recreational uses years from now.