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City, ferry company strike deal on terminal land

The City of Nanaimo says it has a deal with Island Ferry Services Ltd for the lease of a terminal site.

The 20-year lease would require the company to have the passenger ferry linking Nanaimo and Vancouver up and running by March 31, 2015. IFSL’s Marine Operations Director David Marshall says the lease is a key piece of the puzzle required to get all of their investors on board.

Marshall says one they have all of their financing in place, there will be a lot of work to do in order to have the ferry service operating by the spring, but they’re confident it can be done.

The lease agreement also still needs a final OK from City Council.  That’s going to happen in two stages.  At their June 23rd meeting, Council will have to give permission for a Notice of Disposition in the local newspaper, then at the July 14th meeting they’ll be able to vote on final approval.

Mayor John Ruttan says he’s pleased about the agreement and is looking forward to having it finalized. He says it’s an exciting time for transportation options on the island, with news VIA Rail and Southern Rail are close to signing a train service agreement to restore passenger rail service to the island. He says that should fit nicely with IFSL’s plan.

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Other details of the agreement include:

  • The lease is for a term of 20 years, renewable twice at Council’s discretion (not to be unreasonably withheld). Rent from the lease area is $52,000 per annum.
  • A separate licence agreement has been prepared to preserve the road right of way for the Front St. connection. The agreement has a term of one year and automatically renews. Rent is $15,100 per annum
  • Island Ferries has negotiated a lease for parking on land owned by CP Rail. To provide additional parking, the City will lease to IFSL a portion of the existing road abutting that CP Land.

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