Andy Robinson’s presentation to Kincardine council Oct. 1 began with a strict warning from his audience.
Councillor Ken Craig came to the defense of municipal staff and said he wouldn’t take part in the discussion if Robinson continued to slag on Kincardine’s employee. At the last council meeting in September, Robinson had harsh words for CAO John deRosenroll and members of the Kincardine Yacht Club.
“I’d love to work towards a resolution,” Craig said, before Robinson began. “But, I won’t be involved in this if (Robinson’s presentation) involves disparaging words about staff or community volunteers.”
Robinson came to council for the second time in a month to discuss the administration of the Kincardine marina. He owes the municipality more than $4,000 in transient docking fees after mooring to the north wall of the pier – a space reserved for commercial fishing vessels – since June.
Robinson said he has witnessed boaters being denied a seasonal slip in the harbour despite there being more than 25 open slips during the busiest parts of the summer. The Yacht Club has said its bylaws demand spaces be left for transient boats and many times the open spaces are simply due to boaters being on vacation.
According to Robinson, there is no paperwork to show the transient slip agreement. He also has failed to uncover evidence of an agreement between the municipality and the federal government designating the north pier as a space reserved for commercial fishing boats.
“The federal government was puzzled why we aren’t using our harbour to its full potential,” Robinson said.
Robinson has been charged approximately $4,100 by the municipality for illegally parking his boat at the pier. He presented council with a copy of the original bylaw governing the marina fees, from 2001. In that bylaw, a fee of just $679 was laid out for seasonal marina parking. The municipality, according to the original bylaw, is supposed to review its marina fees annually. Robinson said there is no evidence of this happening.
“Why is this bylaw not being upheld?” Robinson asked.
Deputy mayor Laura Haight used the municipal website to explain to Robinson that the bylaw has been followed. The marina fees are reviewed each year and included in the updated consolidated fee bylaw, which is easy to find on the internet.
Robinson admitted he did not have permission to park his boat in the marina. He also admitted to being the only vessel at the pier.
“If there is no parking, I don’t expect to park there,” said mayor Larry Kraemer.
The recreation committee discussed the marina issue this summer. The Yacht Club will present a review of its policies to council in November. In the meantime, council has decided to wait for the report before acting on Robinson’s situation.
“My preference would be to wait for the report to come back,” said Haight. “But, I don’t see any north wall (parking in the current bylaw).”
Council will review the situation Nov. 13.