A few boats sit idle along Rochon Sands’ boat launch. (File photo)

A few boats sit idle along Rochon Sands’ boat launch. (File photo)

County of Stettler has Rochon Sands Marina on agenda once again

The Rochon Sands Marina proposal was back before council on Aug. 10.

After receiving some feedback, the County of Stettler resubmitted the proposed lease to their lawyers for review before the final authorization to proceed with construction.

“We’re very close,” said chief administrative officer Yvette Cassidy.

During the two-week public feedback window in August, one ratepayer emailed the county questioning several aspects of the project, including: how the marina will be arranged to fit so many slips into one area, users fees and what they cover, whether or not public access would remain to the lake and the possibility of mismanagement by the board.

In response to the ratepayer email, the county posted a letter, included in the Aug. 10 agenda package, which included answers to some of the concerns raised.

The response included information surrounding the site plan indicating that the marina could eventually accommodate a maximum of 32 boats, but would have an initial construction allowing for 20 boats which would meet the initial demand.

As far as the user fees and management of the marina, the response documented that the fees, $700 per year for each member, will go towards upgrades, insurance, financial reserves for future development, maintenance and any legal fees, if required. The funds will be controlled by a voluntary board.

To protect the county’s interests, the County of Stettler has had legal provisions inserted into the lease agreement allowing for the termination of the marina association if they do not follow the lease agreement. Further to that, the marina association must carry $2 million in liability insurance and agree to “hold harmless” the county from any lawsuits that may arise down the road. Finally, the association must open their financial records to the county on an annual basis for review and the county has final approval on all contractors and sub-contractors who do work on the site.

Finally, the county response reaffirmed that the marina area and boat launch would remain a public area, with public access. The response notes that motor vehicles have never been allowed in the area and that to help limit access to the area to foot-traffic only, the county will be installing fencing as part of construction.

One concern noted about the area by Reeve Larry Clarke was vandalism. According to Clarke, locks on gates meant to restrict traffic are continually being cut and other forms of vandalism in the area are regularly being reported.

“Certain residents cannot keep doing what they are doing up there,” said Clarke.

One recommendation put forward by Coun. James Nibourg was the installation of cameras in the area.

Because the window to start the construction of the marina is fast closing, a motion was made to have the lease forwarded to council by email for an electronic vote prior to the next council meeting to allow for even a few days extra construction time. The motion was carried, though the lease will be brought back to the September meeting as well so that the public can have a chance to review it.

Local NewsNews