Every year, marina slips struggle to be renewed on time, and Cold Lake city council is looking into some solutions for the problem.
“It’s just not a good time to get people to renew their slips,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “People go away for the winter, or may not know if they will even be here by the summertime, so a lot of people end up missing the deadline.”
Council voted to extend the deadline from March 15th to April 15th this year, giving slip holders an additional month to get their payments in for this year before losing their berth.
“It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, and we wanted to give them a bit more time to come through with their renewals before going down the list to replace them,” said Copeland.
The topic of changing the renewal policy also came up, with councillors offering various suggestions on how the process could be improved for the future. Council then voted to visit the issue in more detail at a future Corporate Priorities meeting, where they will look at changing the policy for marina slip renewals, and make it easier for administration and users alike.
“We’ve asked administration to review the policy and look at streamlining the process,” said Copeland. “There has to be an easier way to ensure people are paying for their spots, and paying on time, without needing to track them down. We want to make this as fair as possible.”
The City of Cold Lake leases out 236 slips in the marina to individuals with vessels each year. Demand is high for these spots, with a waiting list for administration to turn to if a person does not renew. The collection of renewal fees has proved to be a time-consuming task for city staff, with many payments coming in at the last minute.
“There are options to consider on how to move forward,” said Copeland. “Do we penalize late payments and still accept them, or do we leave it hard and fast as a firm deadline? Does the date need to be changed? Is requesting proof of insurance part of the problem, since people may not insure their vessel until the season begins? These are the types of questions we will be looking at as we move forward and review the policy.”
This year, 15 slip holders failed to renew from 2016, eight of which have requested to make a late payment.
More information on the Marina Operations Policy as it currently reads can be found on the Bylaws & Policies page at www.coldlake.com