Boat launch options to be considered

Options will be considered at next District of Sooke council meeting

The District of Sooke has been trying to decide how best to deal with the public boat launch and the parking fees. For the past while, the $10 fee has been collected by Jock’s Dock, but council wanted the district to have it go to tender.

A Request for Proposals was sent out and there were three options put forward and looked at by council on June 24.

Option one was by the Juan de Fuca Marine Rescue Society. Their proposal was to collect fees by donation and annual fees. They would provide “other” services at the boat launch.

Option two was by a private numbered company. They proposed the installation of a pay station with revenue distributed to proponent 65 per cent, district  10 per cent and non-profits 25 per cent. The company also proposed other revenue streams including parking on property located on West Coast Road, coupon marketing and a dock side amenity operation.

The third option was to have the district purchase a multi-station pay station and maintain operation of the boat launch.

A fourth option is being proposed by Terrance Martin and the Southern Island Recreation Assoc. No details were given.

Council discussed the options.

Councillor Kevin Pearson said option one was a private enterprise.

“Taxpayers have already funded it,” he said. “I would like to see something go to salmon enhancement.”

Coun. Bev Berger questioned how they were going to address parking. Her concern was echoed by Coun. Herb Haldane who said, “parking is the biggest issue of the whole operation. The district can’t take care of the parking.

“If we were going to run it ourselves, we shouldn’t have put it out to tender,” said Haldane.

Mayor Wendal Milne said CAO Gord Howie has some experience in this from Prince Rupert.

District of Sooke council will have another look at these options at the next council meeting on July 8.