Editorial: Launching a solution in difficult

District of Sooke council struggling with parking/operation solution

Council is still trying to find a resolution to the mess at the public boat launch. Local fishers feel they shouldn’t have to pay for using it as their tax dollars went into building it.

An annual local users’ card has been suggested, which would give locals a discount on parking and launching. In many other marinas around the area a yearly decal is purchased and displayed on the vehicle parking in the lot. But the issue is not a fee for locals but the parking. If the designated parking spaces at the hotel are full, then those who launch their boats have to park elsewhere and elsewhere is on the highway. This leads to congestion, and a dangerous situation for pedestrians walking along West Coast Road. The launch should never have been built where it is.

So what is the solution? The neighbouring property owners have been dealing with the boat launch fee collection and they have done it very well. Why not let them continue to do so? People are already crossing over to use their fish washing station at no cost. It has already been stated that the boat launch fees are not a money maker, so why nickle and dime the district to death. It would be a lot cheaper than the $30,000 cost which was apparently in an RFP.  Strike an agreement/contract with Jock’s Dock and be done with the whole business. They already have more in place as far as fishing amenities than the district does. The district doesn’t need the little bit of money from boat launching and working together would easily solve this issue, and it would save the Sooke taxpayer some money.

It isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Council is never going to please everyone nor should they try. Just do the best for the most and stick with your decisions. It’s time this issue went away… but we will still have the parking to contend with unfortunately.

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