A new fisheries stewardship centre at Harbour Quay was green lit by council on Tuesday, Oct. 14.
While the original proposal had West Coast Aquatics looking at placing the centre on Centennial Pier itself, city economic development manager Pat Deakin said that as they “began to look harder at the cost of a new facility on the pier, they engaged with [us]” they realized that the centre would cost them $1.1 million, only $400,000 of which could be covered by the Island Coast Economic Trust (ICET).
“We began to look for alternatives and one that came to our attention the site of the Clocktower Gallery, which has now closed its doors,” said Deakin.
Building on an existing, smaller, municipally owned site reduced the cost down to $371,120, $140,000 of which could potentially be provided by ICE-T.
In order to qualify for the funding, West Coast Aquatics must lease the site for 20 years. According to Deakin, leases on that building usually last five years with an option to extend by another five years as long as all payments are current and all obligations are satisfied.
While Coun. Cindy Solda expressed concern over the length of the lease, saying that she didn’t necessarily want to sign the city onto something so long term, council passed the motion to allow the ICE-T funding application process to go ahead.