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North Bay purchases new rake to clean local beaches

North Bay city council is purchasing a new beach rake worth $100,000 to replace an old unit in order to keep beaches clean.

Council said it’s a way to address a used needle problem on public beaches.

Leila Pausch can be found walking along Shabogesic Beach on Memorial Drive almost daily with her dog. She's concerned she or her dog will step on a discarded needle buried hidden in the sand.

"They had their little tent camp on the other side of the beach and I do know there were needles around that area," Pausch said.

To keep beaches clean, council voted to award a purchase a new $100,000 rake from G.C. Duke Equipment Ltd., which is based out of Burlington, to replace the city's 40-year old unit.

"I watched it where it was almost daily on the waterfront during the heavy months in July and August," said Coun. Mark King.

The old rake has been rebuilt and repaired several times. A city staff report found that purchasing a new unit is the best option.

North Bay city council is purchasing a new beach rake worth $100,000 to replace an old unit in order to keep beaches clean. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

The rake is pulled by a mid-sized tractor and scrapes the sand for any kind of debris or other hazardous materials like needles.

"I'm sure other councillors have been advised of that problem," said King.

"I heard concerns from people from the people of the Premier Road area of finding needles on beaches."

Beach-goer Brian Nupponen applauds council's move. He's not from North Bay, but comes to the city weekly during the summer to come to local beaches with his grandchildren.

"There are a lot of kids here. We don't want them picking up needles or anything. They could be around anywhere," Nupponen said.

The city said the new equipment will be used starting next Spring and staff will determine how often the beaches will need to be raked and which ones will need the most attention when it comes to debris left behind in the sand.

"The beach, it's meant for kids and the beach should be kept clean all the time," said beach goer Grant Payton. Top Stories

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