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I have had a boat in the Cobourg marina for many years, and am a former executive member of the Cobourg Yacht Club. I have seen much progress made at the marina and waterfront over the years, but there is more to do.

Here are some of my comments. I expect strong reaction, but this is how I see things.

Consultants Studies

There have been two recent consultant studies that recommended raising marina slip rental fees in order to help finance investment.

This may be necessary, however I believe the consultants failed to identify opportunities to improve revenue generation through better use of the existing docks.

  • neither  study identified the "free docks" issue and lost revenue of $15- $20,000/yr.
  • more seasonal docks, and fewer transient docks will generate increased revenue, est. $ 15-$20,000/yr if all docks and retaining wall serviced.
  • reciprocal boaters do not generate significant local business revenue. Many transient boaters do.
  • the marina appear to look at sales revenue from estimated boater spending as a major criteria in making dock allocations. They should use "gross profit" to the local business/ marina ecosystem as the criteria.

The consultants should help provide this analysis.

Free Consultants

The Director and Marina Manager positions are currently open. The marina staff are working hard and making progress at addressing many operational issues.
I believe the Town would benefit from more consultation with the boaters when considering decisions at the waterfront and marina. I understand that Zoom calls, surveys, delegation process, etc. are available, however this is not the same as a forum where open dialogue and debate are used. The boaters, collectively, have much experience with marinas and waterfront issues all over the country. Why not consult this source?

Staff/ Council Communications

My belief is that decision making and performance at the marina and waterfront will be improved if Town staff and Council have more open communication and better working relationships.

Councillor Chorley is doing a good job in her oversight role at the waterfront, but my observation is that she does not always get the information needed to understand the issues. There needs to be more open communication with the marina, the boaters, CYC and other user groups in the harbour.

There are times when it appears that self interest takes priority at the waterfront.

John King – ex-member Cobourg Yacht Club