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Marina deal on hold

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City officials are going into overtime before signing off on the “hockey stick” in Tunnel Bay Harbour.

Concerns from residents of the Boardwalk condominium have prompted councillors to put off a vote on Tunnel Bay docking and a marina agreement with Tall Ships Landing/Aquatarium developer Simon Fuller - a deal that was scheduled to go to council next Tuesday.

The decision comes after changes were made to the docking configuration south of the Boardwalk that has been called the “hockey stick” because of its shape, said Mayor David Henderson.

Following an often contentious debate culminating in the January 2010 approval of a broader agreement with Fuller, the city approved a harbour redesign that was to place a hockey-stick-shaped floating dock on the south side of the Boardwalk now used by the Tunnel Bay Boat Club.

The new structure will be for visitors of the Aquatarium and the Tall Ships Landing marina. The Boardwalk group's docks are to be relocated to the east side of the building.

Since then, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has told the city to cut three metres off the dock, while further talks involving the city, Fuller Group and the boat club have resulted in more changes to that design.

But Tunnel Bay Boat Club member Larry O'Brien said the changes to the deal came as a surprise to him.

“The hockey stick is turning into a boomerang. It's extending further out into the basin,” he said.

The Brockville lawyer believes the deal, which includes a 25-year lease agreement with Fuller that involves the nearby docking facilities at Ernie Fox Quay, needs scrutiny by the waterfront task force set up by the city's economic development department.

“This committee, whose job it is to deal with waterfront issues, should deal with the biggest waterfront issue that is in play,” said O'Brien.

City officials put the changed agreement out without public consultation, so the Boardwalk group called for consultation to take place before a final decision.

“The stakeholders should have some input and it appears that hopefully we will.”

Henderson said audience members at a committee meeting this week raised questions about the lease agreement, including a provision that would allow Fuller to sub-lease the marina operations to another party.

“I'm just not sure what the danger is of that,” said Henderson. “Most contracts have that type of transferability.”

The agreement commits the developer to building a new marina facility on its water lot, the Ernie Fox Quay water lot and the Broad Street water lot.

One of the questions Henderson has concerns the lease itself, which calls for the city to get 20 per cent of the gross annual mooring revenue received from the Ernie Fox and Broad Street water lots.

It defines gross revenue as “the total revenue from the said water lots less the developer’s capital repayment on the capital improvements, i.e. docks (on the said water lots).”

Henderson is awaiting word from staff on whether that includes both principal and interest on Fuller's repayment.

 

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