Operation of boat launch goes to private company

Numbered company will operate and collect fees at boat launch

District of Sooke council gave the go ahead for a numbered company, headed by Terrance Martin, to run and maintain the public boat launch.

Council approved the Community Service Agreement with 881301 BC Ltd. for operation of the public boat launch. As well council gave first, second and third reading to Bylaw 591 which would set the fees for use of the boat launch.

In-camera meetings had been held with Martin since April 7. The district will be installing a ticket machine and security camera and will oversee the installation of a fish cleaning station and possibly a public toilet if sufficient operating revenues can be generated.

The operating company will be exploring optional parking arrangements, if space can be found nearby.

The agreement with 881301 is one year in length. The district will collect all of the revenues with 90 per cent going to the operator.

Revenue from the boat launch in 2013 was $5,499.

Bylaw 591 sets the fees for use of the public boat launch at $10 a day per boat (includes parking). A 12-month boat launch permit will cost a local resident $60 and a non-resident $120. Parking will be $2 per hour and $10 for 24-hours.

Other issues in relation to the boat launch came forward at the public question and comment period on June 9.

Rob Roe came before council representing the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue, who have their rescue boat at the public boat launch. He said they had been  told dredging of the harbour would be done to accommodate their boat, but nothing had been done.

Apparently RCMSR does not have a lease with the district for use of the dock or any access to on-site parking.

It was mentioned that “staff of the day had no authority to put you there.”

It was also mentioned RCMSR was responsible for the entire geographical area stretching all along the west coast of the Island, including other jurisdictions.

Council made a motion to direct staff to review the entire boat launch facility in regard to dredging, parking, lease, etc.

Other council news included a Statement of Financial Information for the year ended December 31, 2013.

In the statement were the wages of council and staff wages over $75,000/year.

Council members each receive $10,160.02 and the mayor receives $20,320.04. Expenses are extra. Councillor Kevin Pearson had the lowest expense claim at $201.46 and Coun. Haldane the largest at $5,993.68. The mayor’s expenses totalled $3,395.36.

Staff wages totalled $2.44-million. Those earning over $75,000 include: CAO Gord Howie, $122,794.81; Municipal Engineer Elizabeth Nelson, $115,112.99; Fire Chief Steve Sorensen, $109,342.40; Director of Finance Michael Dillabaugh, $105,093.39; Deputy Fire Chief Richard McLeod, $95,573.61; Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Barney, $92,031.89; Corporate Officer Bonnie Sprinkling, $90,292.77; Municipal Planner Gerard LeBlanc, $87,643.52; two firefighters $81,452.97 and  $80,810.58 respectively. Others earning over $75,000 include the Head of Geographic Services, Parks Coordinator, Planner II.

Other wages ( under $75,000) total $1.1-million. Total expenses in addition to wages total $99,880.63.

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