The following information was submitted by Tor Birtig, Director of Infrastructure, at the November 19th City Council meeting and was in response to questions that arose regarding fees and rates proposed in the Harbour Bylaws 2431 and 2432.
On average, the moorage rates at the South and Westview Harbour are lower than the North Harbour due to the non-reserved berths, vessel rafting and decreased security. Rates in the South and Westview Harbour are higher during the summer months to encourage temporary local vessels to use the North Harbour facility. Maximizing local temporary moorage in the North Harbour during the summer ensures spaces are available for transient vessels in the South/Westview facility.
The moorage in the North Harbour is tiered to take into account the greater footprint or width of larger vessels. This method is utilized at other harbours along the coast such as Comox and Gibsons.
Rates in the North Harbour are set to cover the cost for borrowing, operational costs and a reserve for future replacement of the facility. It is estimated that the reserve amount at the end of 30 year borrowing term will be approximately $5,000,000 provided rate increases keep up with inflation and no significant maintenance costs are incurred.
During the construction of the new North Harbour floats, power outlets were upgraded from 15 to 30 amps. This upgrade is common for newer harbours. The power in the Westview Harbour was updated with 30 amp service in 2011 by Small Craft Harbours. The below table outlines 30 amp electricity rates for facilities in the area including rates proposed for Powell River.
Harbour 30 Amp/Month 30 Amp/Year
Discovery Harbour (Campbell R) $57.75 $693
Comox Valley Marina $118.13 $1,417
Pender Harbour $106.90 $1,283
Lund Harbour $61.14 $734
Powell River Harbours $58.00 $575
Rates that are lower at other facilities were based on 15 and 20 amp outlets. For the City of Powell River to reduce the amperes at the North and South Harbour would require installation of a new breaker and plug for each outlet by an electrician. The City did investigate the cost to supply meters for each power outlet. City staff determined that the estimated capital cost of approximately $120,000 for installation would be difficult to recoup and could significantly increase the cost for electricity for customers. Since 2012, the electricity revenue at the three facilities exceeded the expenses by less than 2% with BC Hydro set to increase rates by 4% on April 1, 2016.
In June 2015, the Parking Lot Bylaw 2313 was amended. At that time, the yearly fee for parking at the harbour was increased from $85 to $100. Policy 172 was established in 2000 and states that vessels purchasing moorage at the South Harbour will receive a parking pass for the duration of the moorage. There is no policy for a parking pass with moorage in the North Harbour. Rescinding policy 172 or adding the North Harbour will result in either additional costs for customers or decreased revenue for the City.
The City maintains and operates three ticket dispensing units at the harbour. On average there are issues with the machines once per month. The City is investigating options to assist with the maintenance of the units including an on call technician from the Island and potential upgrades or replacement of the units.