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:
- CM-17-19 Marina Governance and Operating Model
- CM-17-19 Appendix A – Potential Operating Models
- CM-17-19 Appendix C – LPMA Timeline
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.