REPORTING · 8th November 2011
The First Question asked to the Councillor Candidates was sent in. The Regional District has suggested privatizing ownership of MK Bay Marina. The question asked the Council what they could do to ensure the marina remains public.
Bob Corless said this is true as there is a large debt. They cannot use tax money to keep the marina going and self sufficient. Council has offered to take it over, but there are a few problems as the marina was started by the Haisla, the province and the Regional District. Kitimat might not be able to buy it. It has been suggested selling the marina for a dollar as it has $300,000 debt.
Josh Callahan said they need to take the cost of maintenance into consideration. The community is paying for so they should be using it.
Jack Riddle said there is a Retire in Kitimat flyer. People who are retiring here are not staying for the weather, they are staying for the other things here and one of these things is the marina. We cannot gain access to it because there is not enough room in it. People are going to come with boats and the town is going to explode.
John Pacheco said he thought it was private but we would be better off building a public marina where everyone has access.
Phil Germuth said it is critical to make this a public marina. While it is not a money maker, it would no longer be a public marina if sold to private interest. The marina benefits people from Kitimat to Prince George so he would keep it public.
Mario Feldhoff said the community lost two marinas, the Yacht club and Moon Bay. The Community needs to find away for more capacity. He said he is open to any ideas and he’s willing to work with the Regional District to keep it open.
Mary Murphy said it should not be a public marina. They should not purchase it because they can not afford it right now. They should also be looking at ways to expand the marina.
Edwin Empinado stated one way to improve the economy is tourism and we have this. He is open to it but the residents of Kitimat need to be a part of the decision making.
Corrine Scott said Kitimat needs another marina as MK Bay has a long waiting list. Their joint partnership with the Haisla became a road block. However, Kitimat needs another Marina. They are looking at land in Minnett Bay and talking to Rio Tinto Alcan. Kitimat is the only community in the Northwest with ocean access which is not on the water.
Carl Whicher said he was running on a platform on smaller government. He was hesitant to say full speed ahead. However, this was a critical facility for Kitimat and the Region. He said Kitimat is paying a lot of money to the Regional District, we should be pushing to get it back. He suggested a marina on the West Side with a Hotel, U-Brew and a restaurant.
Joe Salema said he agreed the marina should stay in public hands. There are people from across the province and into Alberta who have boats there. We need people with shops around the area. He suggested working with what they have and expanding it.
Rob Goffinet said he would support keeping MK Bay public. Council has talked with the Regional District about expanding it. One of the stumbling blocks is the design of the breakwater which prevents the full potential of the bay to be used. They need 200 more slips as the community’s future is on the ocean.
OUR PICK FOR BEST ANSWER: Corless
Runners Up: Empinado, Whicher
Comment by mary murphy on 8th November 2011
thanks walter...everything is correct except i said we should not enter into purchasing the marina...should stay as a public marina...and look at ways to expand the marina.
sorry about that. I did not hear it properly. It's fixed now