The harbour rates bylaw was back on the agenda at Port McNeill council’s regular meeting Dec. 19, and this go around was a much quieter affair than the last.
Harbour Manager Pete Nelson-Smith gave a quick speech and explained the changes he has made to the bylaw, which are listed as follows:
Boat launch pass: Recommending matching Alder Bay and Telegraph Cove launch fee of $100, selling annual passes only to residents and restricting parking at the boat launch parking lot to single day parking. Multi-day parking can be done in our fenced overflow lot or through one of the community’s storage companies.
Boat launch weekly: Recommending a $35 per week boat launch/park rate to accommodate non-resident users. Port Hardy offers a $31.85 weekly truck/trailer parking NOT including the launch, which is $5.30.
Mayor Shirley Ackland asked if there were any questions from council regarding the bylaw.
“We don’t charge for oil, I think we’re being taken for a ride there. We also take sewage, and we don’t charge for that, do we?” asked Councillor Graham MacDonald.
Ackland agreed with him, stating that “Those are some things to consider, for sure. There’s going to be things like that every year going forward that we need to take a look at.”
Councillor Shelley Downey asked if the $35 per week boat launch/park rate is still just daily parking. “That is correct,” said Nelson-Smith.
“Did you have any other community members come down and discuss things with you?” asked Councillor Jay Dixon.
“Yes I did,” confirmed Nelson-Smith, adding that he had “a couple people visit the week after the last meeting. Also, to deal with the parking issue, Councillor Frost is going to get me an overhead view of the area that we’re looking at for boat launch parking. There is a local fisherman who is going to help me with the lineup of the vehicles, and we’ll try and paint some lines before the season starts, which will get everybody parking in a way that will get the most use out of the parking lot.”
“I think everyone has made it abundantly clear that it’s the longterm parking and the boat launch parking issues that are the problem,” said Ackland, who added that they need to “identify areas where things can be more effective to help people park. That way it will flow better than it does now, and we also need to make sure that people don’t use it as overnight parking, especially during the busy part of the year.”
The third reading of the harbour rates bylaw was passed unanimously by council.