Who operates the Sarnia Bay Marina?
Bridgeview Marina Limited operates the Sarnia Bay Marina on behalf of the City of Sarnia.
Did the 2018 boat launch fees increase?
No. Boat launch fees have not increased in approximately 10 years. Fees remain at $150 for a full season pass, $94 for a senior’s full season pass, $55 for a senior’s Monday-Friday pass, and $13 for a day pass. Rates are set by the operator and approved by the City.
HST is included in these rates. About a dozen boaters were inadvertently charged HST, and they will be contacted by Sarnia Bay Marina staff to have the HST portion refunded.
When did Sarnia Bridgeview Marina begin managing the Sarnia Bay boat launch?
In May 2006, the operator, St. Clair Parkway Commission, was dissolved and the City issued an RFP for a new operator. Bridgeview Marina was the successful bidder and began operating Sarnia Bay Marina for the City in 2006.
From 2006 until 2012, the boat launch was managed by the City and permits were available at City Hall. Boaters found travelling to City Hall inconvenient, so Sarnia City Council decided to transfer management of the boat launch to Bridgeview Marina. The staff report leading up to the 2012 transfer can be read here.
Who collects the boat launch fees and where do the fees go?
Boat launch fees are collected and enforced by Bridgeview Marina. The City receives 50% of net revenues generated by Sarnia Bay Marina, including the boat launch. The City is also guaranteed a yearly minimum, which is $80,000 for 2018.
What are the benefits of a private operator?
Private operating agreements for municipal assets are very common across Canada. In some cases, the private sector may offer expertise, access to financing, or economies of scale that can make a private operator more competitive. The presence of market competition may also provide an incentive for increased revenues and efficiency.
A key advantage of private-sector partnerships is that the operator assumes a large share of the risk of doing business. In the case of Sarnia Bay Marina, the City is guaranteed income even in the event of smaller-than-expected profits, or a loss. The agreement between the City and Bridgeview Marina can be found here and the amendments can be found here.
When will the new payment kiosk be installed and who will pay for it?
The cost of the payment kiosk is included in the Council approved Centennial Park Remediation Project budget. It is anticipated that it will be operational next week.
Why should boat launch users have to pay a fee when the City just completed a multi-million dollar remediation project for Centennial Park?
The fee is charged by the boat launch operator to offset the ongoing costs of maintaining and operating the boat launch. There has been a fee schedule in place by various operators for decades.
The remediation project was intended to address environmental issues identified at Centennial Park. These issues could have led to much greater costs had they been left unaddressed. The remediation project was ultimately a capital project for the long-term benefit of the community, and the costs of remediation were separate from the day-to-day operations associated with boat launch fees. Launch fees at the Sarnia Bay Marina remain competitive with surrounding communities.