Big Lakes County seeks lease transfer

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County wants to transfer its lease with the provincial government for Crown land by Spruce Point Park marina over to Spruce Point Park Association.

At its regular meeting April 10, council directed administration to explore a transfer from the County to the association that operates the park.

The motion came after council discussed the lease with association vice-president Vic Abel.

Reeve Tyler Airth said council wants the lease transferred to the association.

“Spruce Point Park is interested in taking on the lease with the provincial government,” Airth said.

“The marina is part of the economic engine of Spruce Point Park and brings countless visitors to the county and our region.”

Abel told council the marina on the shore of Lesser Slave Lake is vital for the park that includes a campground.

“If we don’t have a marina, we don’t have a park,” says Abel.

The park association has maintained the marina for minor repairs for many years.

Airth noted another reason the County doesn’t want the lease.

“The County should always be looking at ways to focus on our level of service priorities while also providing local community groups with the tools to support their community and our region,” he said.

Big Lakes purchased the harbour at Spruce Point Park from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) on Feb. 21, 2020 for $1, states a report from Pat Olansky, director of community services and planning.

Upon acquisition, Big Lakes entered into a rental agreement with the Spruce Point Park Association to lease the harbour for a term of five years.

The Government of Canada gave Big Lakes a $2 million grant upon acquisition of the harbour in 2020.

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