Port Alice considers taking back Link River

Village debates not renewing agreement with RDMW

After more than 30 years, Port Alice is considering taking back the maintenance and management of the Link River Regional Park campsite.

Greg Fletcher, Regional District of Mount Waddington Chief Administrative Officer, attended the Village of Port Alice’s July 11 council meeting to give a presentation regarding the Link River campsite, which is located near Alice Lake.

“We’ve had an arrangement with Port Alice since about 1985. Port Alice ran the campsite until 1985 and then the Regional District took it over,” said Fletcher.

“I worked at the Regional District when that happened and I know our public works here were having difficulty looking after it,” explained Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen, adding, “And that’s when they came up with the idea that the regional district would manage it for us, so you’ve been doing it now for 30 plus years.”

At the same meeting, council read a report from staff Jason Yunker and Tanya Spafford regarding the Link River Agreement.

“The Link River Lease Agreement ends on Nov. 30, 2018. As staff, we would like the opportunity to discuss the village choosing not to renew the agreement and have the village maintain and manage the park,” reads the report.

“We believe this has huge potential for our community and are willing to take on the extra responsibility to make it successful. We have a great team of skilled co-workers that are equally as excited as we are to see what we can make happen at Link River.”

Yunker and Spafford’s report includes an estimated cost of restoration at $10,413.60. It states that several of the sites in the back of the park have not been maintained regularly and are not able to be used and the tree ceiling is quite low, which limits the access for RVs to park in many of the sites.

“With the initial restoration, this will create 10 waterfront sites and 12 non-water sites that are completely usable for campers, including making several more sites available for RV parking. Waterfront sites are currently being charged $20/night and non-waterfront are $16/night. This makes the potential monthly income $11,760,” reads the report.

“Even if we can keep half the park full all summer, we will have a monthly income of approximately $5,500 month. This would pay for the maintenance and a caretaker at $2,500/month, with an average minimum monthly revenue of $1,575 after expenses. If the park opens from mid-May to mid-September (or later) this will be an average revenue of $6,300/year with the park being utilized at half capacity.”

During the council meeting, Allen said that council would discuss the report further, but that they were considering moving in that direction.

“Our staff feels that it’s time to take it back, and of course we would need some help, but we have some ideas that might not be the same as the RDMW which is good.You need fresh ideas, and I think we might move forward in that direction,” said Allen.

Link River campsite currently has 24 campsites, several of which are located on Alice Lake or beside Link River, which flows into Alice Lake and provides a great beach for swimming. There is also a boat launch and three sheltered barbeque sites.

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