NANAIMO — A consultation process is being launched to establish a new layout for the well-used but aging Boat Basin Marina.
Nanaimo Port Authoirty president and CEO Ewan Moir hopes at least some of the inner harbour docks will be replaced in time for next year's busy boating season, following a widespread public feedback phase.
“There must be a more efficient and better layout within the marina basin that will better meet the needs of these users as we look into the future,” Moir told NanaimoNewsNOW.
The Boat Basin Marina features several docks for numerous users, including fishermen, pleasure craft boaters, a float plane business, Protection Island residents and a pair of restaurants.
Moir said while still a huge community asset, extensive upgrades are required to the Boat Basin, noting most docks are deteriorating.
He stated the Port has reached out to numerous user groups, as well as the City of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw First Nation, to help create concepts for improved docks and amenities.
“We're going to take a look and see if we can divide up the marina basin for the different user groups and then try and tailor what each user group would like to see when they visit the Boat Basin.”
Concepts could include the addition of a dock configuration to better accommodate pleasure craft users and improved infrastructure for overnight boaters, such as fresh water and sanitary system upgrades, according to Moir.
He told NanaimoNewsNOW it's unclear of the scope or cost range of revamping the Boat Basin, but said “it will be expensive” and the NPA won't be able to self-finance it.
He said a key stakeholder in the discussion will be Protection Islanders, who rely heavily on the Boat Basin's docks. Moir said access for people on Protection Island is critical since they “park their boats like we park our cars.”
Moir believes 'D' dock, previously used by Protection Island boaters before it was removed several years ago, can certainly be replaced in a more efficient marina design.
Protection Island Neighbourhood Association director David Carter said their group has been invited to initial Boat Basin planning meetings later this month. He's encouraged with the tone established by the recently hired Moir.
“I'm very, very hopeful for the future. The new CEO for the Nanaimo Port Authority is an excellent communicator and has made a sea change in the relationship between certainly ourselves on Protection Island and the Nanaimo Port Authority.”
Carter said an idea to lessen their costs is a single-payer co-op system for Protection Islanders.
“We don't need full-time moorage, we only require what a parking lot would be, we would pay the Port Authority for a length of dock and then we could share it with the island community.”
Carter said their current arrangement is paying for a full year's moorage or three-hour tie-up at the Boat Basin.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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