With clock ticking, lighthouse discussion heats up

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 09:16 AM.

Hardman contended that the city was facing total costs of at least $750,000 and wondered about any return on investment the city might realize, let alone where the city would secure total funding for the project.

By her estimates, given annual upkeep, maintenance and insurance, the city would only break-even after the first 8,000 visitors per year, paying $5 per.

She noted that the lighthouse has never had more than 7,500 documented visitors in a given year.

And, she wondered, what would be the extent of the tourist attraction if the lighthouse was moved from its centuries-old location, altering the historical context.

“The relocation becomes a financial issue on what can be made on it,” Hardman said, adding it could be 20 years before the city realizes its costs to relocate. “Look at the financial side and consider the history – no one thinks you are going to have vast numbers of people coming when you move it into the city.

“This is no longer about saving the lighthouse.”

She added that ongoing roadwork on State 30A would be a major hurdle into 2015 and that regardless of its ultimate destination, bringing the 60-75 ton lighthouse down could leave it unusable.

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