A negotiation to see public/private partnership take over the operation of two marinas in the County has been approved. Prince Edward County council agreed to enter a negotiation with CJ Thompson during a virtual meeting on Tuesday night.
If approved, Tenacity Capital would lease both the Picton and Wellington marinas for a dollar a year for an initial five-year term and Tenacity would handle all of the day to day business of the marinas and intends to make both capital and service improvements.
Thompson suggests stabilizing the hours of operation, and hiring full time staff in order to improve and maintain services and maintenance of the properties.
He also proposes Tenacity Capital’s investment in the Picton location to expand harbour services, capital improvements to upgrade safety features and increase the number of transient docks. Currently, the municipality runs the marinas and has been losing money on an annual basis.
This year, the municipal operations budget for marina operations projects $156,100 in revenues and $172,015 in expenses including wages, materials and supplies, utilities, repairs and maintenance, leaving a projected operating deficit of $15,915.
Councillor Mike Harper asked if the sale price was negotiable. Todd Davis, Director of Community Services, Programs and Initiatives said anything is negotiable but providing marina services were not part of the core services the municipality provided.
Environmental concerns surrounding carbon emissions, pollution and congestion were concerns raised by councillors but Phil St-Jean felt this was a good decision. Many councillors were in favour of getting the cost of running the marinas off the back of the taxpayers.
Councillor Janice Maynard mentioned the number of slips, launch rates and the dredging of Wellington marina were things they could discuss as part of the negotiations. Tenacity is also the owner of the Tip of the Bay property next to the marina in Picton, an area slated for major development.
The Municipality issued an Expression of Interest pertaining to the operation of the Picton and Wellington Marinas in March and only one proposal was received.