To the Editor,
Please vote yes to the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol referendum question on Nov. 15.
This is a most valuable service, so important to all Alberni Valley and visiting boaters plus a great economic benefit to Valley businesses.
This service provides a much appreciated/ needed water safety education at Sproat Lake Provincial Park boat launch.
The service has been successfully operating for 12 years by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District with four local summer students providing assistance and education in boat launching, safety checks, lifejacket loaning, marine distress, boating etiquette plus beach cleanups for public enjoyment.
The $30,000 cost has been basically operating on government grants and assistance with a present three-year commitment to 2016 with a possible local regional tax for 2016 of $7,500 shared by all Alberni Valley residents. The Alberni Valley Regatta Association has committed a grant of $1,000 if the patrol is continued.
Some Valley voters may consider this a Sproat Lake residents’ benefit, which is far from the truth as most residents have their boats moored at their docks, while most other boaters are using the service on a daily basis.
The safe, accident-free boating at the lake is a record to be proud of and probably to some degree because of the marine patrol.
Let’s keep this valuable service on our lake as a shining example of safe boating.
Joe Van Bergen,
(Editor’s note: Joe Van Bergen is a member of the Alberni Valley Regatta Association)