I’ve heard from many residents reaching out to my office and Council regarding the LaSalle Park Community Marina and the boating season this summer. Council is committed to doing what we can to ensure residents can access the public boat ramp, slips and docks this season.
At our May 5 Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (EICS) Committee meeting, we heard from delegations and staff about issues the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) was experiencing with regards to the upcoming 2022 sailing season. After much discussion, committee unanimously supported a motion from Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith for the City of Burlington to temporarily take over marina operations, extend our insurance and get boats in the water no later than June 15 — while we consider options for the long-term operation of the marina.
Council will vote on this May 17. Residents can send correspondence and/or register to delegate (speak) at that meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 905-335-7600, ext. 7481.
The full motion and My Take are further down this post.
Here is the staff report we received at EICS Committee: RCC-09-22 Update on Marina Operations.
Click here for a related City of Burlington news release: LaSalle Park Community Marina and boat launch update.
Recently, the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) advised staff that they received a non-renewal notice from their current insurer. The insurer indicated they are unable to offer renewal terms due to LPMA’s claims history (two outstanding claims) and changing market conditions. LPMA’s insurance has expired as at April 30, 2022 and based on their agreement with the City, they must have insurance in place to operate the Marina. LPMA’s broker has contacted numerous insurers but to date has been unable to obtain insurance for LPMA for the upcoming boating season.
The Burlington Sailing and Boating Club (BS&BC) provides winter boat storage and provides the boat lift-in and lift-out services. Boats that are stored in the compound cannot be lifted in until the Marina is operational. BS&BC and LPMA are separate entities but work cooperatively to provide a boating experience at the LaSalle Park Community Marina.
Both LPMA and BS&BC have advised their members that LPMA is unable to get insurance for the upcoming boating season and that the opening of the Marina will be delayed as they look for options.
Since the boat storage area takes up the parking spaces reserved for boat trailers, the public boat launch will remain closed for trailered boats until this situation is resolved.
Canoes, kayaks, and other smaller portable items can still be launched.
MOTION UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDED BY COMMITTEE:
Direct the City Manager and Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to undertake the necessary due diligence to identify and fully address the financial, legal, human resource and operating risk exposures to the City in order to operate the LaSalle Park Community Marina on an interim basis for the 2022 season based on a target date for opening of no later than June 15th; AND THAT
In completing the due diligence, City staff do so with regard to the following principles and requirements:
- The interim Marina operation must be a net zero incremental cost to the taxpayers of Burlington inclusive of City reserve funds; and
- The City maintains the ability to seek expressions of interest/proposal and/or investigate other options for the operation of Marina in 2022 and in the future in keeping with our Council approved Framework for Recreation which gives preference to a community partnership based operating model for recreation service delivery in Burlington; and
- Formal written confirmation of insurance coverage for the interim Marina operation be received by the City’s insurer; and
- The City can secure fully qualified Marina operations staff (i.e. certified Harbour Master) in keeping with all Federal and other regulatory requirements for the interim operation of a Recreational Marina; and
- The LaSalle Park Marina Association must continue to meet all its financial obligations to the City; and
- The LaSalle Park Marina Association and the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club must work cooperatively with the City in relation to but not limited to amending agreements, the City securing equipment required to operate and maintain the Marina, lift-in and lift-out of boats and transitioning all administrative and financial aspects of the operation; AND
Direct the Executive Director of Legal Services to preserve all City legal rights contained in its approved license agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association.
Direct the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to report back to City Council on May 17, 2022 and the June 9, 2022 Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee meeting to provide updates and current information regarding the La Salle Park Marina including potential risks.
We need to keep the boating community here in Burlington and we don’t want to lose another season — the COVID-19 pandemic has already taken two. We heard that our marina provides jobs, volunteer hours and a partnership with Community Living Burlington — these would be lost if we lose another season. We need a longer term strategy for this operation and as we review our joint-venture models at the City.
Staff has been working hard to get this to us and I thank them for everything they’ve done on this file. We’ve had some good, balanced engagement from the community on this in a rather short window of time that helped us on Council make our decision. I know this is a challenge, but I’m reasonably confident we’ll get a boating season this summer and that’s certainly our goal.