BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTO The Port McNeill Marina could potentially be expanding its operations if Alan Jackman and council are able to get on the same page and work together.

Resident wants to expand Port McNeill marina’s current operations

The plan to expand operations that was presented to council remains in the concept stage.

A presentation by Alan Jackman of North Island Marina led the agenda at Port McNeill’s June 3 town council meeting.

Jackman was there to brief council on the marina’s plans to expand their current operations to include better support for the increasing boat traffic from the lower mainland and pacific northwest.

Jackman noted that currently there are no facilities in Port McNeill capable of supporting – in terms of maintenance and repairs – the larger yachts that are arriving in the port. Referring to boats in the 48 to 60 foot and above range, he explained, “It has always been our dream to expand the harbour to better service the larger commercial and pleasure boats.”

On behalf of the marina, Jackman was asking council for a letter of support, indicating they backed the general concept of an expanded port facility, stating, “We are hopeful you see the benefits to the investment in the community.”

Although the idea has been talked about as far back as 1985, the plan presented to council remains in the concept stage and has yet to involve such agencies as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as well as the Ministries of Environment for both the province and federal governments.

According to Jackman, while local First Nations are aware of the plans, no formal consultations have begun.

When Mayor Gaby Wickstrom asked about the need for an Archaeological Impact Assessment, Jackman explained that the need for an assessment wouldn’t be known until they see, “…what the first few shovels find.”

Later in a telephone interview, Jackman explained that nothing had ever been discovered in previous construction projects on the property, but he was aware of the need to move forward cautiously.

Coun. Derek Koel and Coun. Shelley Downey mentioned that current zoning doesn’t allow for the project and would likely require a review and possible amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Following the question period, Koel put forward a motion asking that staff prepare a report detailing the implications the project might have on the OCP and what liabilities council and the town might have with respect to a letter of support.

Objecting to the motion and resulting delay, Coun. Ryan Mitchell asked if there was any real benefit to the staff preparing the report.

The motion was passed, with Mitchell abstaining and the request for the support letter has been handed over to staff. No timeline for reporting back to council was provided.

In other council news, The Tourism Steering Committee updated council on their progress, advising that they had selected committee members and would be asking Council to approve the choices they had made.

A motion to appoint the following committee members was approved: Bruce McMorran and Kristie Eccleston (appointed for a one year term) and Jonna Dixon, Liza Furney, Cheryl Jorgenson, Bill McQuarrie and Boni Sharpe (appointed for a two year term).

The steering committee will be tasked with developing short and long-term plans for growing the tourism industry in Port McNeill. The goal of the committee is to help both town and industry planners develop and implement successful strategies that will attract more tourists and extend the stay of those who do travel to the area.

Next council meeting is June 17 at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend. For copies of agenda and previous minutes, visit www.town.portmcneill.bc.ca.

– Bill McQuarrie article

Just Posted

Gate House Theatre presents: A Suessified Christmas Carol

The play was an entertaining, amusing and engaging blend of the rhyme based story telling.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: San Josef Bay

“I have always had an overwhelming desire to get to the sea stacks as soon as possible”

Port Hardy Rotary Club donates $8,077 to the Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund

The hamper fund raises food and donations for many communities in the North Island.

Oscar Hickes: The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island has been cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read