French Creek Harbour News October 2015

The Harbour is hiring, there are two vacancies open for full and part time work. More information about the openings can be found www.careercentre.org search for French Creek and the posting will display. There’s a job description posted on the Harbour Office door as well.

Parking is becoming a hot topic at Harbour Authority of French Creek (HAFC) directors meetings. The HAFC has been undergoing a revenue review exercise for the past number of years. In particular the focus has been on the land(s) that they lease or manage for others. The general notion of the review is to ensure that the HAFC is receiving “fair market value” (FMV) for the lease or service.

As a bit of background, it’s worthwhile to know that the HAFC must generate its own revenue to cover the costs of operating the harbour. The taxpayer through the Small Craft Harbours Branch of the Federal Government (SCH) pays for major infrastructure like breakwaters, pilings etc. Lasqueti resident long term parking revenue represents less than 5% of the HAFC annual income. In terms of real dollars the income from Lasqueti parking is less than $30,000 per year. By way of comparison berthage generates more than 50% of the annual revenue.                                                                                                                                     

Lasqueti resident parking was an agenda topic twice, once concerning security and the recent spate of fuel theft being reported; the other being revenue vs. “FMV”. 

The staff report coincided with postings on our local email list – there’s an increase in incidents and the thieves are becoming more destructive. It noted that at least one gas tank had been punctured. Interestingly the same reports notes that there has not been an increase in similar reports from the yellow zone parking. I asked about security provisions and was told that the cameras are semi useful. They do capture images, however so far all the thieves have been smart enough to wear lots of clothing. Staff can review the videos if a specific date and time frame for the theft can be reported.  In the past additional security was hired and there was not sufficient decline in reported theft to justify the annual cost.

The matter of revenue from long term parking vs. the cost associated with improved security soon emerged from the discussion. In short the sentiment is that any additional costs associated with increased security for Lasqueti parking should be reflected in higher parking rates. Staff presented some comparative rates, here’s a sampling of the most “apples to apples” comparisons

B.C. Ferries Comox Little River Terminal (likely has security)                $500 per year

French Creek House (no security)                                               $175 per quarter year

The Board asked me, as the LCA representative, to poll Lasquetians with the intent of learning our views on parking. To that end I’m posing a series of questions to the community and have posted the topic on the Lasqueti website as a place to start gathering responses.

✓ What is a fair price for parking with the level of security currently received?

✓ What suggestions do you have about how to improve security for FC parking?

More cameras, on site security personnel, fencing and controlled access, Lasquetian patrols, more police?

✓ What would a fair price for parking be if your suggestions about security were accepted?

✓ Who should operate the Lasqueti parking?

            HAFC, private parking company, Lasqueti based organization?

✓ What other suggestions do you have about Lasqueti resident parking at French Creek.

The HAFC will be reviewing Lasqueti long term parking rates for 2016-17 early in the new year.  I expect that there will be some increase in rates. There is clearly demand for the limited amount of parking available – people are on the list for five or more years before they get a green zone pass. The nearest competitor charges more than four times as much as the HA.  How much the rates increase will be affected by how much, if any, change Lasqueti wants to see in security and access. Please send your thoughts to me or to the website. Share this newsletter with others that have a “stake” in long term parking for Lasqueti. The LCA will likely host an open forum on this topic later in the winter. 

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