Friday, May 30, 2008

If we build it, they will sail... and maybe tie up too!

"We've been discussing this ever since I've been here on council, which is over 20 years, and it's probably been discussed before that,"— Councillor Tony Briglio reviewing the debate over the lack of pleasure boat mooring spots in Prince Rupert.

With the fear of missing the boat on thousands of dollars in lost revenue from the yachting class, City council once again does what many councils past have done before, talk about changing the situation.

Whether it falls between the cracks of larger issues as it has in the past remains to be seen, but for the moment with another summer sailing season underway, the prospect of boats sailing on by has the mayor and council thinking nautical.

The Daily News manages to cobble two days worth of news coverage on the quest for someplace to tie up a boat in Prince Rupert, having introduced the topic in Wednesday’s paper, they made it their front page story for Thursday...


Councillors to push for more berths and return of fish-filleting tables
By Patrick Witwicki
The Daily News
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Pages one and three

Prince Rupert Council is worried about the shortage of boat mooring spaces in town, and discussed the issue in full inside chambers Monday evening.
"It's the old cliché," said Coun. Tony Briglio. "Either fish or cut bait."

As reported in Wednesday's Daily News, representatives from the Prince Rupert Yacht Club made a presentation to council pointing out the club's concerns about the fact that recreational boaters were skipping a stop-over in Prince Rupert because of the lack of moorage spaces.

Council discussed the problem, and Briglio demanded that something be done.

"We've been discussing this ever since I've been here on council, which is over 20 years, and it's probably been discussed before that," he said.

"Maybe we need to meet with the (Port Edward) Harbour Authority, and maybe we should move staff to work with the yacht club and come up with a proposal."

Coun. Joy Thorkelson, who is heavily involved with the commercial fishermen's union, said it would be a good idea to bring all parties together - commercial, sports, and the harbour authority - to try to figure out a way to increase the number of available moorage spaces.

"It's more than just Rushbrook," she said. "Our floats are what's going to have a lot of people come up here. What makes sense is to have a decent amount of floats everywhere."

The other issue that is connected to the problem is the fact that the Port Edward Harbour Authority last year removed the fish-filleting tables at Rushbrook.

Their loss only made things worse said Briglio.

"The bottom line is the tables (are) something that has worked over the years," he said.

Mayor Herb Pond agreed.

"I'm fully supportive of getting the tables back down there," he said. "But the Harbour Authority (made it) very clear that they will not tolerate fish tables down there.

"There are reasons why it was pulled, and there are reasons why it's going to be hard to get it back."

"The problem the Harbour Authority had was the way (the garbage) was being disposed ... the waste was ending up under the docks. It was costing them money, and they were unprepared to do it," said Pond.

Coun. Ken Cote suggested that a broader meeting be set up with the Harbour Authority to discuss all the issues, never mind just the fish tables and lack of moorage spaces.

"I think we're making it more complicated," he said. "They do have that in Port Edward. They got opportunity, and they have a wishlist.

"They have a sizeable dock down there, and they do have a big wide ramp down there. A meeting should be broader than that ... not just fish tables."

Briglio then made the motion that city staff contact the yacht club to begin meetings and start working together to come up with some recommendations regarding moorage.

"I am aware of some potential interest," said Pond.

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