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Aldershot residents and boaters in general are being asked to contact their municipal elected representatives and remind them about the important role the LaSalle Park Marina plays in the City.

On Thursday, the Burlington Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee will be asked to come to the rescue of the Marina, which otherwise, may not open this season.

The LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA), manages the marina for the City on a volunteer basis. It requires several insurance plans to operate. All but one plan has been received and approved. The remaining plan, Commercial Liability, is not being renewed by the carrier because of a couple of ongoing slip-and-fall law suits. Without the liability insurance coverage the marina can not operate. Everything else is ready to go, but the outstanding insurance plan has put a halt to the season opening. 

The annual “lift in” of boats has already been delayed from May 5 to May 19, at least.

“Without liability for things that might happen, we are at risk………Any boats that tie up would be trespassing”, commented Lorn Newton, President of the LPMA.

Closing down the marina would seriously impact the operations of the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club ( BSBC) as well as the Able Sail program for those with physical challenges. Both are expected to join the LPMA as delegates to Thursday’s meeting. Closure could also have consequences for the public launch ramp.

The LPMA claims to have fully explored every option. The only remaining possibility is to have the City step in. If the marina were to be supervised by a City of Burlington staffer, even on a part time basis, the liability insurance could come under the City’s umbrella.

“It is now imperative that the City of Burlington assume direct management of what in the end is their marina (they own the wave break and the docks) and move quickly to open the marina”, wrote the Commodore of the BS&BC Scott Lowell, in an e-mail to his members.

Recently, the City invested $4 million to build a new wave-break at the marina.

Story by Rick Craven

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