There has been some talk about the district starting to charge a launch fee at the public boat launch, located at the Prestige Hotel.
The citizens of Sooke paid a lot of money (probably close to $2 million with grants) to acquire the boat launch. Some other businesses with boat launch sites are probably feeling the pinch so a comment was made at council to consider charging users a launching fee.
Perhaps a better idea would be to have a resident and a visitor rate. Local taxpayers could acquire a sticker which would allow them to launch for a small fee while visitors would be charged much the same as at other boat launch sites. The “sticker” would have to be applied for each year. It was never stated that launching at the public site would be free, although some may have thought that was appropriate.
If the hotel is going to use the public boat launch then they should be paying for the privilege. It is a “feature” they promote on the district’s dime. It is time the hotel paid its way and time we stopped subsidizing it.
We may not find out all of the deals that were made with the Prestige but this is one that we can do for the taxpayers of Sooke.