Possible improvements for Cottonwood Marina

The District of Fort St. James will be making some changes to Cottonwood Marina and is looking at security, the reservation system and more.

The District of Fort St. James will be making some changes to Cottonwood Marina and is looking at security, the reservation system and more.

There was a wharf user meeting on March 21, 2014 to discuss some possible options for improving the municipal wharf.

The meeting came about after Blaine Dionne had come forward last year with some concerns he had and changes he was requesting at a council meeting.

Mayor Rob MacDougall and council were receptive to his ideas and asked if Dionne would then be interested in helping them look at possible changes to  the marina and the security.

Dionne, Ken Duncan, Kevin Crook of the District of Fort St. James and Rick Claughton from public works were at the meeting which resulted in three suggestions being brought to council at their last meeting: a reservation system which would give last year’s user’s priority, fuel sales at the dock, and increased security.

The changes to the reservation system suggested would mean people who were users in the previous season should be given a chance to reserve ahead of the general booking period.

A list of pros and cons was included for each suggestion, with one of the negatives to the new reservation system being it would make it harder for new users.

Fuel sales at the docks was proposed as a way to generate income and reduce fuel theft from boats and Councillor Riley Willick said it could possibly also be environmentally beneficial, as people filling boats with jerry cans is more likely to result in spills than a fuel pump with a proper nozzle.

Council will be considering the changes, with further consultation requested and some research on the part of administration.

The wharf runs at a loss, with the income from boat users generating $14,905 last year. wjhile expenses were $45,046.  Revenue was down from projected revenue partially due to a late start while ice damage was repaired. The expected revenue was $18,104.

Mayor and council have budgeted an additional $9,000 in upgrades and $32,397 in operating expenses for Cottonwood Marina in 2014, based on projected revenues of $25,000.