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Fintry Queen plan takes on water

Not so fast.

Any notion the Fintry Queen will have a temporary or permanent home on a dock in front of City Park is premature.

In fact, city property manager, Ron Forbes, says it would seem to be a long shot at best.

Earlier Thursday morning, Andy Schwab issued a media wide press release indicating he is now the registered owner of the 326 passenger Fintry Queen.

He stated he was 'working with Kelowna City staff on a request to construct a new, smaller, temporary pier for the ship in front of the former park pavilion building in City Park.'

"A tender has just closed to build permanent washroom facilities in that area so we are hoping to be able to tie into that construction, build a small, temporary loading pier at no cost to the city and be ready to open this summer," says Schwab in his statement.

Forbes acknowledged Schwab has put forth a proposal and that they are working with him to determine whether or not it is something he could recommend to council.

"That's where we're at," says Fiorbes.

"We are still doing our final analysis on that."

While the city looks at Schwab's proposal it is also implementing a comprehensive Waterfront Park Plan.

"Construction of a dock in City Park is incompatible with the plan's direction," says Forbes.

"If we put a dock in at a specific location it effectively eliminates any public activity in the water within a certain radius of that dock. We can't put people in the water with a boat coming in. It's not safe."

Forbes says the Fintry Queen also requires specific servicing needs such as access to power, water and sewer.

"They also need a roadway so a fuel truck can pump fuel into the vessel. A vessel that big just can't pull up to a gas dock," says Forbes.

"Plus, it takes diesel and there is no gas dock on the lake that provides diesel."

While Forbes says staff is doing its due diligence as it would with any proposed development, he says a dock anywhere in front of City Park appears to be a long shot at best.

"We need to make the best decision with the long term vision of what we want the park to be," adds Forbes.

He says if council agrees a dock is not in the future plans of the park they will continue to work with Mr. Schwab to find something else, somewhere else if indeed something is available.

"Or, council may say that's a wonderful idea and we're going to put something there and give direction to staff to move in that direction," says Forbes.

"I don't see that happening, but that's totally a decision council has to make."

In our daily poll on the topic, over 70 per cent of the people like the idea of the 'Queen' being downtown.

Here is our ongoing poll:

Should the City of Kelowna allow a pier be built in front of City Park to house the Fintry Queen?
Total Votes:  303
Yes:  73.6%
No:  26.4%

Take the poll.

How does this story make you feel? (245 total votes)
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