GORE BAY – The Town of Gore Bay is going to allow those boaters from the US or other areas who can’t get to their boats or their usual docking spots at the Gore Bay Marina this summer to pay a smaller fee to guarantee their place for next year.
“A lot of people are not going to be able to put their boats in the water this year, and many don’t have the choice in coming here this year, as they normally would,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at a council meeting earlier this week.
Council had been requested by its general government committee to recommend adjusting the holding dockage rate policy to state that a fee of $150 plus HST be charged for holding a docking slip for the 2020 season in which the absent boater would be able to reserve the space for the following year. Further, this adjustment to the holding dockage rate policy was recommended for the 2020 season only.
“The $150 fee would be provided to hold the docking for the next year, probably for American boaters not able to get here this summer,” said Councillor Ken Blodgett. “If the US-Canada border is opened in the next three weeks, can this rate be applied for this year?”
“The $150 rate would be if they can’t come this year and want to guarantee a slip next year; and yes (if the borders opened), the $150 would be part of their fee this year,” said Mayor Osborne.
“There was no way anyone knew that we would be going through something like this (COVID-19) and would occur and people would not be able to get to their boats,” stated Mayor Osborne at a town general government committee meeting May 27.
It was pointed out seasonal resident(s) had sent the town a request for a guaranteed docking slip next year, since they may not be able to get to their boats this season.
“The space not being used this year could be used by transient boaters this year,” said Mayor Osborne. “But with the changes we are looking at for the holding dockage rates, those who usually have a docking slip would (pay the fee) and guarantee their spot next year.”
Town Clerk Stasia Carr said in other communities, like Spanish, they are charging a rate of $150 and for Lions Head, $270 to hold a spot for next year.
Mayor Osborne said, “I would propose we go with the similar rate as Spanish ($150). It is a very nominal rate to guarantee a spot, and we would know there would be a very good chance they will be coming back next year.”
“I’m fine with that,” said councillor and committee chair Kevin Woestenenk.
“I agree,” said committee member Jack Clark. “We are not looking to make money, but cover some of the costs. $150 is very fair.”
Council passed a motion to adjust the dockage rate policy as recommended by the general government committee.
“How are we doing so far this year, in terms of boaters, 10, 20, 30 percent?” asked Councillor Ken Blodgett.
“Twenty plus boaters have paid their dockage (fees) this year,” said Clerk Carr.
This is out of 100, said Councillor Blodgett. “So its about 20 percent; which is more than we had budgeted for. We had been looking at nothing in the budget from dockage fees.”