Boat basin for Parksville Bay?

Richard Young
Richard Young's drawings related to his idea for a boat basin in Parksville Bay.

More than a decade ago, Richard Young proposed a boat basin for Parksville Bay and even drafted the plans, which he's hoping to stir excitement about again.

"I just thought I'd throw it out there again and see what people think," Young said, admitting he had some negative response last time mixed in with the support.

He sees the idea as a way to help work on erosion issues in the bay, provide recreational activities and better use of the far end of Community Park, and maybe even bring in revenue from moorage fees and additional business coming to the waterfront.

"It would be a haven for people to come from all over —  it's a perfect location and there could even be a clubhouse where the old hovercraft pad is," he said, admitting he was just throwing ideas out there in the hopes that others might get excited and take off with them.

The major problem, he said, is the cost. In 2001 he worked up a preliminary estimate of $3.3 million, "and today you'd have to multiply that by four or five times."

"I'd never fault a guy for a vision," said Parksville Mayor Chris Burger, who praised Young's enthusiasm.

Burger — who recently proposed his own out-of-the-box revenue ideas for the city — said it is not necessarily easy, but he hopes people keep bringing up big ideas.

Burger was a city councillor when Young first brought the idea forward and said he remembers a considerably less positive reception than Young remembers.

"There was a tremendous amount of resistance," he said pointing out nothing ever got as far as the council table, but media coverage brought a lot of response.

"This would really change the whole bay and it could actually exacerbate erosion and residents are very cautious about any changes, especially in our bay."

He said that while he can't see a boat basin ever working, including the cost and requirement for provincial and federal government involvement, he is a bit more optimistic about the long range possibility of a pier at that end of the park.

"I think we've been there and done that," Burger said.

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