The Village of Harrison Hot Springs has for the past two years allotted $20,000 per year to go toward the maintenance of its boat launch, which contains both a launch and retrieval lane.
Recent upgrades and improvements to the ‘boat harbour reserve,’ implementing the innovative use of steel plates have provided The Village the opportunity to reduce the cost to roughly $5000 per year.
“For the past two years we’ve been budgeting $20,000 plan to transfer to a capital reserve for the boat launch in order to build a reserve fund that would fund a $100,000 upgrade,” said CAO Madeline McDonald.
According to a report prepared by staff, the launch and retrieval lane, are separated by a “pedestrian float. The underwater portion of the boat launch, constructed of interlocking concrete blocks, is not durable enough for current usage and has been subject to frequent and costly repairs.”
The use of steel plates in repairs have opened up new possibilities in the budget.
“This is another example of staff being creative and thinking outside of the box, and making wise budget decisions as well in an effort to keep this facility open,” said Councillor Samantha Piper.
FVRD operated, The Village has an agreement for the responsibility for the upkeep, repair, and maintenance of the structure. Cost for the repairs has come out of a reserve account that was set up specifically for that purpose.
General taxation as opposed to boat harbor revenue has been designated for operational costs with the consideration to up user fees to help facilitate funding for repairs.
Recent upgrades totalling $16,800 to replace the interlocking concrete blocks have been successful and held their own over the summer season, as well as a $13000 (steel plates) contribution for improvements, located on the retrieval side.
The elevated position of gains made to the structure, left The Village with the choice to reduce the contribution of $20,000 per year to $5,000.
“The proposed reduced contribution will fund a reserve for capital repairs with the completion of recent upgrades; providing the Village with an opportunity to set an annual budget for the boat launch, which is revenue neutral, including planned reserve contributions,” according to the report.
“Hopefully this new idea will relieve us of all the extra expenditure we have there,” said Mayor Leo Facio.
Questions as to the effectiveness of the recent repairs came to light as councillors debated the longevity of repairs.
“Certainly time will tell whether these steel plates will hold up over time, but we’ve removed the urgency for the planning of the capital upgrade, so we are able to reduce our annual transfer reserve, and also reduce our repair costs — this isn’t necessarily a 25 year solution,” said McDonald.