During Monday evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Smiths Falls, town CAO Malcolm Morris presented a proposed seven-year lease agreement between the town and luxury boat rental company Le Boat. This lease agreement is for use of the town’s docks in Victoria Basin and Lower Reach, as well as for new docks to be built to accommodate Le Boat’s growing number of boats.
Within the parameters of this proposed agreement, Smiths Falls would be responsible to purchase and install new docking facilities at an estimated cost of $130,000. Le Boat would lease the docks from the town at a complete cost recovery within the seven years of the lease agreement.
Unlike the currently-expiring five-year lease agreement, this proposed agreement includes provision for the town to use mooring spaces when they are not occupied by Le Boat’s fleet.
CAO Morris recommended council pass pre-budget approval on Monday evening in order to get a jump on purchasing the docks with a planned opening date of Victoria Day next year.
Councilor Niki Dwyer made it clear that she did not wish to saddle the incoming council by passing pre-budget approval tonight. “We received an email from Bennett earlier this month, confirming we’re in a Lame-Duck position; I would feel better waiting for the new council to come on board.”
Councilor Jay Brennan said that he was comfortable moving forward, due to the full cost-recovery.
Councilor Wendy Alford, who will not be sitting around the horseshoe with the incoming council, added her thoughts. “I may be on the way out, but as of right now I am still a councilor. I support this, and this council was supportive back in June [when town staff sought direction to enter into negotiations with Le Boat] as well.”
Councilor Lorraine Allen asked CAO Morris if there was enough space in the basin for the town’s waterway visitors along with the additional seven mooring spaces to accommodate the expanding Le Boat fleet.
“The boats are docking in a new configuration, stern-in, which uses more of the basin but less of the shoreline,” explained CAO Morris. “With this agreement, we will [also] have access to any vacant LeBoat slips.”
Council approved entering into the proposed seven-year lease agreement with Le Boat.