Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Ferry Dock Belongs To Seaspan?

City budgets $400,000 to remove dock

At the May 4th City Council meeting Councillor Hong asked a question as to the ownership of the Ferry dock the City (taxpayers) have budgeted $400,000 to remove. He asked if the dock belonged to Seaspan, who incidentally control most of the usable land in the parcel we purchased. Mr. Lindsay from the city responded in the affirmative and said that the cost of removal would reduce the compensation Seaspan is to receive for the land.

Given that Seaspan are in possession of a perpetual right of use licence costing about $30,000/yr in taxes (they pay no rent) which gives them use of nearly 16 acres and all of the waterfront, they would seem to be in a very strong bargaining position as the city spends tax dollars developing this property.

Seaspan is developing their property at Duke Point, and the assumption is that sooner or later they will be moving their operation out to Duke Point, meaning they would no longer have need of the Wellcox property. If that is the case, you might assume the land would be of no value to Seaspan one day and only time will tell how many tax dollars have been spent on this piece of property.

One of the reasons given for proceeding with the removal of the dock is to make way for a fast foot ferry, which was supposed to be operating at the end of March on the 'Gadd' property portion of this property.

I realize many of the details of this whole process are and will be conducted in-camera since we are dealing with a land deal, but I am not likely the only one who questions how well tax dollars are being spent by people who have no skin in the game.

Councillor Yoachim was the only councillor to express some concern about proceeding at this point given the implications of the recently discovered midden and the ferry operators progress.

If in fact the dock presents a liability as stated in the staff report, and if it is the property of Seaspan, could the city not order them to remove it at their expense, rather than spending $400,000 from the taxpayer's purse??

allvoices

2 comments:

  1. At last, a council member with his eyes open, and a brain that works while he sits.. Thank you, Bill Yoachim, Nanaimo's breath of Honesty and Integrity..

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  2. One has to wonder what off-the-record conversations have taken place in the past to justify on paper no rent on very prime waterfront property and only 10x more tax than what I pay per year for my modest property in addition to the city's willingness to clean up after another company's responsibilities.

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