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by Doug Harvey
Port Stanley Harbour Budget

Port Stanley Harbour Budget

Special Meeting - Monday, January 23, 2017

Call to Order

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof - None reported.

Committee of the Whole - A Motion moved by Sally Martyn and seconded by Fiona Roberts that Council proceed into the Committee of the Whole at 8:02 P.M. The Motion was Carried.

1. 2017 Harbour Budget Discussions

The Port Stanley Harbour Budget discussions this year proved to be an emotional struggle to balance spending principal funds still available from the Harbour Divestiture Fund and the interest made from investments. With an unaudited $4,405,374 in principal, and $1,156,848 in interest still remaining after all the work done on the Harbour so far, a balanced approach to spending the right amount of principal and interest money available must be found while following the spending guidelines of the Harbour divestiture deal. Taking into consideration the recommendations from Riggs Engineering on future dredging costs of $1.5 million in 2021, and 2028 in order to spend the remaining money from the Harbour divestiture Fund. Harbour dredging is also scheduled for 2038, and 2048. By 2038 we would need to have generated $1,000,000 to pay for needed dredging. To date a total of $2,780,000 from investments has been earned on the Harbour Divestiture money.

The Harbour divestiture deal involved a transfer contribution of $13.5 million, "to be used exclusively to cover operational costs and maintain the port's infrastructure", and 64.5 hectares land (of which 52.8 hectares are harbour bed), two breakwaters, two piers and a building.

A statement from a Council meeting from April 22, 2010, then Deputy Mayor Marr said the large chunk of money Central Elgin was getting was "enough dollars to do what we need to do" and that they will be able to look after the harbour for 35 to 40 years if this large chunk of money is managed properly and he has confidence in the municipality's excellent financial department and excellent auditors. He said Central Elgin needs the earned interest along with the principal to make the deal work.

Dan McNeil commented on how the last harbour dredging followed Kettle Creek Conservation Authority Hydraulic Capacity guidelines which is needed for development along the Harbour, and thought that developers should be paying a share of the dredging costs. Mr. Leitch said that he thought that dredging costs could not be added to development fees because development fees are for capital works, and dredging costs are operational costs.

Harold Winkworth commented that Council has not followed the original plan set out in 2010, and that if Council had followed that plan would have had everything paid for, and money left over to pay for any additional Harbour dredging costs into 2035. We have spent over $11,000,000 and we have just completed year six with another twenty-nine years to go. And someone has suggested that $5,500,000 dollars will get us there. Once the Harbour Divestiture Fund has been exhausted, the people of the municipality will then pay to maintain and develop the West Pier, and the Harbour. That's everybody will be paying for this, and as far as I'm concerned, we have mismanaged this account.

Dan McNeil commented that we have not done anything foolish, and by 2030 if we haven't spent all the money, we have to pay back what's left. We have done excellent planning, gotten great results taking advantage of lower construction costs during the downturn, and got it all done.

Sally Martyn asked Lloyd Perrin if there was any other anticipated costs in the fourteen years left with Harbour infrastructure beside dredging. Mr. Perrin replied that he was not aware of any other costs beside West Pier lighting. Due to recent conversations with Transport Canada about remediation work along the East Berm, and the vision of the East Berm Walkway, a deal to combine the remediation work and hard cap at the same time.

Mayor Marr commented that the Secondary Plan will give Council the road map as to how were going to develop the West side, and the East side, all the Harbour lands. Without the plan, we won't know what those revenues are. Mr. Leitch stated that in the initial Mark Conway study the economic development strategy was to find ways to sustain the Harbour by developing the Harbour lands for Residential and Commercial use.

Stephen Carr commented that the year 2030 is the year that the Harbour is all ours, were free to sell part, all, or whatever. What were trying to do is provide a clean area for development as the Mayor was saying, for residential High-rises', or whatever. That's where the money is going to be turned back to the Municipality. 2030 is the benchmark, were going to have people coming to us five years prior to that wanting to develop, wanting to build on the West and East side. We are trying to give them a clean slate, so that they can develop.

Dan McNeil commented on the reason why the Municipality could not sell any of the Harbour lands because of the term "Windfall Profits", and that happens in 2030, that's when we can sell and make one heck of a lot of money.

Sally Martyn commented that during the initial public meetings concerning what the people wanted for the Harbour Lands, no one wanted a housing development on the Berm, everyone wanted parkland. So before we do things with the Berm we should go back to the public again.

The 2017 Capital Projects include the East Pier Walkway at a cost of $375,000, with $160,000 given to the Municipality if the deal to combine remediation, and hard cap can be reach. The East Pier Lighting at a cost of $275,000, the West Pier Lighting at a cost of $395,000, the Hofhuis Park Lighting at a cost of $250,000, and the Hofhuis Park redevelopment at a cost of $105,000, for a total of $1,400,000, or $1,240,000 with the $160,000 revenue from the deal with Transport Canada. After a lengthy discussion, a motion was passed to include the 2017 Capital Projects resulting in the principal of the Harbour Divestiture Fund dipping to below $3,500,000.

Adjournment - Meeting was adjourned at 9:53 P.M.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2017 15:09:20 PM EST

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