Meaford Council has voted in favour of deferring the municipality’s planned Harbour Fuel project until 2022, however temporary measures are being implemented that will ensure that boaters can fuel up at the marina through this season.
“Richardson Boats Limited have provided all fuelling services within the marina since the harbour was established. In November 2020, staff received correspondence that Richardson’s Boats would no longer be providing these services after July 31, 2021. Staff immediately obtained the services of Greenland Consultants to prepare specifications and final designs to assume these services with project completion no later than June 30, 2021 so there was no interruption to marina services,” staff advised Council in a report. “The new fuelling system is to provide both gas and diesel services for all boating customers of the harbour. This is intended to be a seasonal service that coincides with the regular operations of the marina from May until October.”
Richardson’s are currently operating their fuel services with two single wall steel underground tanks that are positioned on federal lands.
“Each year Richardson’s Boats are required to provide a TSSA Compliance Inspection (Technical Standards and Safety Authority) to conform to all regulations. Annually in November, Richardson’s Boats communicate with staff when they receive compliance approval and have met all mandatory requirements,” staff advised. “Over recent years, staff have been anticipating that Richardson’s fuel tanks will not pass TSSA requirements and therefore leave the municipal marina with no fuel service. Dave Richardson (owner) has always communicated that when his tanks are not compliant, they will be removed and they will no longer provide this service. This is largely due to the new regulations and capital investment required to provide this service. Fuelling services are not mandatory in a marina but should be provided to maintain an active and vibrant harbour.”
The impending failure of the TSSA requirements has made insuring the service a challenge.
After completing a fuel consumption review of operations from Richardson Boats and the Town of Blue Mountains, municipal staff have anticipated that the Meaford Harbour would need to be providing both gas and diesel petroleum.
“It is estimated that the harbour would be providing total fuel supply of approximately 60,000 to 80,000 litres per season. In consultation with the Town of Blue Mountains, fuel surcharges above cost range in the area of .30 cents per litre in a marina setting. This would provide an additional $18,000 to $24,000 of revenue per year at the facility but does not take into consideration cost of electricity, staffing, maintenance or yearly regulatory inspections that will be required,” staff explained in their report.
The municipality released a tender in March of 2021 for the construction of a new fuelling system. While six bids were received, the lowest bid was 230 percent over the amount that had been budgeted.
“Along with inflated costing, all construction materials were required to be shipped from the U.S. With the Canada/U.S. border currently closed, materials were going to be delayed for a minimum 10 to 12 weeks,” staff advised. “Staff have been currently reviewing a number of temporary fuelling services that would allow the marina to embark on a normal boating season for 2021. Based on the bid pricing, it is recommended that the construction project be deferred to the spring of 2022 and staff continue to investigate temporary fuel services for the 2021 season.”
Staff told Council that temporary tanks will be installed alongside the existing tanks in order to ensure boaters have access to fuel at the marina for the remainder of the 2021 season.