The town of Lakeshore has started negotiations with the federal government to purchase the Lighthouse Cove pier.

Many consider Lighthouse Cove to be ‘Essex County’s hidden jewel’, and town officials believe it has untapped tourism potential.

“It would be great for tourism in the area” says Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain. “It would be great for the local businesses that's in Lighthouse Cove."

The town has plenty of support in its bid to purchase the pier.

More than 33,000 people have signed an online petition in support of Lakeshore's efforts. It states municipal ownership at Lighthouse Cove would complete the water access points across all of Lake St. Clair.

"If we can negotiate a fair price with the federal government, and get repairs done that are needed, then we certainly would be encouraged at taking it over" says Bain.

Municipal staff envision a repeat of the success enjoyed in Belle River, where the marina has become a hot spot for tourists.

Some federal piers have been sold for as low as a dollar, but others were more expensive.

The federal government spent more than $3-million to repair the dock in Belle River. Lakeshore purchased the property for over $350,000.