Nanaimo Yacht Club speaks up against port authority lease rates

NANAIMO - Nanaimo Yacht Club joins Nanaimo Marina Association in bid to force port authority to lower lease costs.

The Nanaimo Yacht Club has thrown its support behind Nanaimo Marina Association in its dispute with the Nanaimo Port Authority over high lease costs.

A press release, issued Thursday by the marina association, said the yacht club’s officials were “deeply troubled by the massive and unjust rent increases that have upended Nanaimo’s marine economy” and voted unanimously to join with the marina association.

The association, comprised of property owners on the shore of Newcastle Channel that fall under port authority jurisdiction, have been in dispute with the port authority over lease rates that are based on rising property appraisals.

The marina association argues increasing fees could force marinas out of business and threaten the future of Nanaimo’s marina industry.

“We unanimously voted to join forces with the Nanaimo Marina Association and fight for the survival of the boating community and marine-based economy,” Digby Belcher, a Nanaimo Yacht Club director, said in the press release. “The Nanaimo Port Authority has been aware of this issue for almost five years, and continues to do nothing about it. We cannot continue like this and refuse to be sunk by the port’s actions and unreasonable rate scheme.”

Bernie Dumas, port authority president and CEO, who is out of town until Thursday (Dec. 15), said in an e-mail that the port authority is working on a full response to the marina association press release that would be finalized upon his return.