Strapped for cash, the city may be forced to scale down the level of improvements to Big Rock boat ramp.
Earlier this year, the city received bids from nine companies to design upgrades to the public boat launch however, the process was cancelled due to a lack of finances.
The nine submissions ranged in price from $77,555 to $286,550. The highest-scoring company came in $38,500 over budget with a bid of $103,522.
Now, city staff are planning to re-issue a Request for Proposals, with the scope of work scaled back to meet the city’s available budget – $70,000 allocated from the 2012 Parks Parcel Tax for a construction-ready design and cost estimate for the upgrades.
Part of the scaled back version is thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding the city recently signed with Fisheries and Oceans Canada which allows the city to remove sediment from the boat ramp on a regular basis.
“Originally, it was determined that the Big Rock boat ramp area would need considerable upgrades to prevent the current process of sediment deposition in the basin,” said Lynn Wark, parks project supervisor, in a report to council. “Now that the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been signed with DFO, regular maintenance in the basin will be possible, allowing us to retain the facility at a similar standard, which has been effective for recreational boaters for many years.”
Other planned improvements will also have to be done on a smaller scale.
“Consequently, the level of standard for the washrooms, fish cleaning station and potential launch access have been scaled back as well, with an overall goal of providing an adequate facility more in line with potential available funds,” Wark said.
Originally, the city was looking for design plans to include a docking facility that could accommodate up to eight average-sized boats. A revised scope of work now asks proponents to consider a removable, seasonal boat launch access. Further revisions include having a fish cleaning station with discharge to the ocean, rather than to the city’s sanitary system and two accessible public washrooms similar to those along the Seawalk, rather than two free-standing washrooms like those outside the Visitor Centre.