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Kelowna  

Fintry Queen not paying its bills

The Fintry Queen hasn't paid her bills and the City of Kelowna is running out of patience.

Arguably one of Kelowna's most recognizable icons, the Fintry Queen had been sitting idle for a few years until new owners from Alberta came along and pumped nearly $1 million in repairs and upgrades into the ship. The Fintry resumed sailing in 2007 but not this season.

A bailiff has seized the boat and the City of Kelowna says the Fintry is in arrears in rent payment.

Kelowna's Property Manager, Ron Forbes, says the rent payments stopped coming in last fall.

"We did meet with the owners to try and come up with a payment plan, but they were unable to meet that. We sent a letter to them asking for payment and the matter is with our lawyer."

Forbes says the Fintry owes the City $45,000 in back rent and utilities.

He says the matter has become a nuisance to the City.

"It is a nuisance. We want an active waterfront and we want the vessel to operate. If the vessel isn't going to operate then we're not going to provide moorage and we'll ask them to remove it."

So where do you put a massive vessel like the Fintry?

"That's the $100,000 question," says Forbes. "If it is towed and moved to another location, it has to be a secure place. And because of the size of the vessel, it would require proper moorage and pilings to ensure that it doesn't move around in a wind storm. One piling, one single post can cost $1,000. To move the boat to another location would be very expensive."

Then there's the outstanding issue of a brand new kiosk built for the Fintry. Forbes says the City paid $120,000 to build the structure including a dock. He says the Fintry was supposed to pay the City back with rent fees. He says the kiosk will have to go.

"If the Fintry is not going to be paying rent, we want it removed and offer it to folks who are willing to pay."

The owners, Fintry Queen Investment Group, could not be reached for comment.


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