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Burlington Committee Votes to Finalize Agreement with LaSalle Park Marina Association Over Operation of Marina

lasalle marina 3

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting at Burlington City Hall, we voted to finalize the agreement with LaSalle Park Marina Association to continue operation of the LaSalle Park Marina.

Here are the motions that were carried to the Sept. 23 Burlington Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. for final approval:

  • Direct the Director of Parks and Recreation to finalize a long-term licence agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association for the operation of the Marina at LaSalle Park substantially in accordance with confidential Appendix B based on Council’s approval of the purchase of a new floating wave break (capital works department report CW-31-19) and approval of a preferred operating model for the Marina at LaSalle Park (city manager’s office report CM-17-19); and
  • Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign the licence agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association prepared to the satisfaction of the City Solicitor, Director of Parks and Recreation and Director of Finance for the operation of the Marina at LaSalle Park; and
  • Direct the Director of Finance to issue refunds from the City held LaSalle Park Marina reserve fund to charter members and undepreciated senior members on a pro-rata basis; and
  • Direct the Senior Manager of Government Relations and Strategic Communications to develop updated web/other communications outlining and highlighting key elements of the license agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association.

To view the full staff report and appendices, click the respective links below:

MY TAKE:

At Monday’s committee meeting I stated I wouldn’t support a motion to refer a decision on this matter — and here’s why.

This is a community marina, perhaps not in name yet, but already in practice. We would not be able to have a public boat launch without a wave break and the maintenance the LPMA provides — we need the wave break for our community to safely access the boat launch. I met a lot of folks who aren’t defined as wealthy that are users, a boat can be a canoe. The community piece to the marina is that you can access the water via a boat.

We also heard from the LPMA delegate of the classes being held at the marina, so folks can access the water if they don’t have a boat. Members of the community and visitors can lake watch there, watch the swans — this is a community gathering place.

If you want to play hockey in one of our arenas, you have to pay for the hockey equipment and yet we consider our arenas as community assets. Our marina is no different in principle. It is a community asset, there is community programming that takes place there. That is why I am comfortable with some City contribution to provide that asset to our community. As a waterfront/lakefront community we need to have a marina.

This operator (the LPMA) is willing to continue operating this marina and is able to contribute back to the wave break. An additional RFP to provide additional community programming at the marina can come at a later date.

It has taken a long time to get to this point, but this is a good news story. This council decided there should be a greater contribution from an operator that is making revenue. Without a wave break, we would not have public access. We’ve significantly advanced the community interest here. I am on board to explore further community programming here. I haven’t received any emails or comments from the public that we shouldn’t proceed — that is light years from where we were on this issue before.

The marina is already much more than “a place to store boats.” There are youth, adult and special needs learn to sail classes offered. There is a free public boat launch, for any sized water craft an individual may have. The Trumpeter Swan Coalition has offered meet the swan educational and family days for residents, there are people who go to fish from the shoreline, or simply come to enjoy access to the waterfront, its trails, wildlife and watch the boats on the water. The marina association, which is helping to pay for the wave break, is only one group and one set of activities happening at the marina as a whole.

There is more happening at the marina beyond simply what the marina association provides, and there is opportunity for more.

The association does not have the capacity to offer programming. But there are other opportunities and groups to look at.

Council is committed to exploring further opportunities to offer additional programming, as discussed at committee tonight, and a motion is being worked on for council to that end.

Regarding volunteering, there will be regular opportunities to review the relationship with the marina and if conditions change, new discussions can occur. For now and the foreseeable future, they have the capacity to continue to offer service to the community and contribute to the costs of the wave break, which makes the boat launch, trails and other sailing programming.

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3 thoughts on “Burlington Committee Votes to Finalize Agreement with LaSalle Park Marina Association Over Operation of Marina”

  1. Money well spent in my opinion. The marina facilities and location and the multiple values added to residents lives are worth a lot more than the city money sitting in a reserve account in the bank.

    My wife and I learned to sail there and we have enjoyed that with our own sailboards and dinghy.

    Well done!

  2. Marianne, you have received numerous emails and comments to not proceed. All counsel were not in favour at the last meeting. There were unanswered questions. We (the City) owns the hockey arenas. It’s our property. We don’t own the waters at LaSalle. Hamilton just allows us to play there….It is not the same thing. There are three organizations operating business there and not paying the City anything to do so. Unless they are and that’s the confidential part that the public is not allowed to know. I’m asking again. Is the 2 million loan from our hydro reserve fund payback from the marina over 25 years the only agreement or are they also going to pay some rent? I don’t want to be directed to 500 pages. Just answer the question, which I have been asking for weeks.

    The City is on the hook for 2 million. I’m asking about the other 2 million (for clarity).

    I have no issue with having boats to look at, etc. But at what cost – when the best City in Canada has hundreds of seniors lining up twice a week (that I know of) for a free hot meal… I was at a city meeting last night where a disabled girl broke down in tears about trying to get around the city by bus, people trying to get from Burlington to the General and Juravinski for treatments that Burlington doesn’t provide. Maybe you all should think about these minor issues before going into million dollar agreements that last 25 years for others to clean up, similarly to what you are doing now.

    Forgive me if I have the facts incorrect. I have been asking these and other questions for months now in case I was misinformed. Transparency…

    1. Hi Mozelle,
      This is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. The Mayor has been briefed on your comment and questions. Her response is copy and pasted below. Your emails will also be responded to, if not already, then by early next week. Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

      “Mozelle,
      The revenue we get from the wavebreak is in the form of the annual license fee from the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA), for $85,000. The boaters don’t dock for free. The marina membership fees pay for that license fee, and other upkeep of the docks, replacement docks and other marina-specific items. We are choosing to apply that license revenue to contribute to the cost of the wavebreak. The school contributes to the wavebreak through flow through fees collected by the LPMA and given to the city as part of the $85,000. There is no fee for any visitors to use any of our parks, including the boat launch, nor should there be, in my view.” – Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

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