Magical Entry to Port Dover Harbour
The Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association would like to bring to your attention developments regarding the management of the Port Dover Harbour Marina.
The Port Dover Harbour Marina has been in operation for over 25 years. It has grown from a small operation of approximately 100 slips, leased from the federal government, to an operation of approximately 500 slips wholly owned by Norfolk County. The management structure of the Marina has evolved from a volunteer board composed of five members, three of whom were also members of the City of Nanticoke Council, to an advisory committee of eight volunteers and one Council member, to no board, no advisory committee, and the Marina being operated solely by Norfolk County.
Norfolk County Staff and Council have struggled for years to find an acceptable governance model for the Marina.
At a Norfolk Council meeting held on February 28, 2012, Council received a requested presentation from Rick Bedding of Port Dover, regarding governance options for the Port Dover Harbour Marina. He provided background information on what has taken place to date, outlined the governance structure for a municipal corporation and a municipal service board, and recommended that Council create a municipal service board for the operation of the Port Dover Harbour Marina. Mr. Bedding stated that this model would still follow the policies of Norfolk County, but that the board would be able to operate the bank account, develop the budget, hire staff and make minor purchases. As a result, Council passed a resolution
“THAT Staff be directed to bring back a report regarding the establishment of a municipal service board for the Port Dover Harbour Marina management to the first meeting in September, 2012.”
At a Norfolk Council-in-Committee meeting held on September 3, 2013, Council received a presentation from Mr. Tim Keogh of Marina Management Services Inc., a consultant hired by Staff this summer. He provided an update on the Port Dover and Port Rowan Harbour Marina Business Plans. Mr. Keogh outlined the scope of work and projected work schedule with a final report to come forward in October.
This past Friday, August 29 2014, Council members have received the consultant’s report. It is posted on the County website as agenda material for this September 2, 2014 Council-in-Committee Meeting.
Its key recommendation (see page 47) is “the ultimate objective would be to lease out the marina to a third party.”
The Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association (PDWPA) was formed in response to the possibility that the Marina might pass into private hands. It has remained vigilant on the matter. The PDWPA is concerned that Staff has not delivered to Council’s expressed desire for a report regarding the establishment of a municipal service board, which the Association believes is the best option for the management of the Marina.
If you share both our concern and our conviction that citizens operating a municipal service board for the Marina is the best option, then the PDWPA requests that you join our effort to ensure that Council continues to move in this direction. A first concrete step to this end is to attend this coming September 2, 5 pm Council meeting (50 Colborne Street South Simcoe – Talbot Street Entrance) as Council once again takes up the matter. Those of us who are in attendance will be asked to convene, after Council moves on to other matters, to a dining room of The Blue Elephant, 96 Norfolk St S. Simcoe, to deliberate on Council’s discussion and our collective response to this developing situation.
Hope to see you there.
Rick Misner, President
Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association