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Questions raised on boat launch agreement

Site of the public boat launch. - Pirjo Raits photo
Site of the public boat launch.
— image credit: Pirjo Raits photo

District of Sooke CAO Evan Parliament is looking for answers as to why Heavy Metal Marine thinks the district still owes them $203,062 for work on the completed marine boardwalk.

In the General Services Agreement between Heavy Metal Marine and the District of Sooke for work on the public boat launch and removal of the Florence Filberg, the marine company stated, “Further, in consideration of the work and expenditure retained by HMM for the benefit of the District of Sooke regarding the McGregor Park Boardwalk Project in the amount of $203,062.00 HMM would be willing to defer compensation (as mutually agreed) in the event of HMM being selected the Preferred Proponent in the RFP.”

Parliament said he gave the statement no credence and he was “deeply disturbed.”

He said Brian Freethy, of Heavy Metal Marine, needs to answer for this as he was of the understanding that the walkway was being done as an amenity when the company was hired to build the boardwalk.

Parliament said the $203,062 was not on the district books as a liability and there is no indebtedness as far as he knew.

“Putting it in the contract is ‘stinky,’ said Parliament. “It’s an immature statement and he has to answer to it.”

Heavy Metal Marine was awarded the contract for the building of the public boat launch to the tune of $1,099,197.52.

Questions have also been raised by members of the public as to why Heavy Metal Marine had commenced work on the public boat launch before the tendering process was complete.

“It looks like it was pre-determined,” said Parliament.

He said it was always expected that Prestige would build a marina. He said Heavy Metal brought in supplies (rock) for the hotel marina work and at the same time brought in supplies for the boat launch.

Parliament said it was expected by the district that Heavy Metal Marine would build the boat launch when they built their marina —to save costs on a full-blown tender process. He said Heavy Metal Marine was contacted and “hired by Prestige to do their hotel stuff.”

When the grant was received from the federal and provincial governments it was made clear that the project had to go to tender. Parliament said work stopped at that point and the project went to full tender.

Brian Freethy could not be reached for comment before press time.

On another issue in regard to the Restrictive Covenant on the three-metre foreshore area in front of the Prestige Hotel and on the land owned by the district, Parliament said the public would have some access but the area could be cordoned off when private events were taking place at the hotel.

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