Council boat yard nears completion

By John Cousins

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A new trailer boat storage yard is only weeks from opening on a prime piece of Tauranga City Council-owned land opposite the Sulphur Point boat ramps.

And the other half of the 1.3 hectare site on Keith Allen Drive has been offered for long-term commercial leases.

Five years after the idea was first mooted, the Tauranga City Council has finally delivered on plans to build a secure 76-boat yard.

Council property manager Anthony Averill said 28 boat owners had so far signed up to pay $1650 a year to park their boats in the yard which will be managed in-house by the council.

And the city has capitalised on the shift of BMX up to Cambridge Park to put the car and boat trailer overflow parking onto the old track and off the other half of the 1.3 hectares.

This has freed up nearly 6500 sq m for four long-term commercial leases. Mr Averill said the council has so far received three registrations of interest.

The leases must be for marine-related businesses, with all the interest so far from existing Sulphur Point businesses wanting to quit short-term leases on port company-owned land.

The 1.3 ha site was purchased from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council for $4.2 million after the city council successfully opposed the application by the region to build its Western Bay of Plenty headquarters on the land.

Entry to the boat yard will be by swipe card via a new side road.

One of the last jobs remaining to be done was to apply a layer of chip seal to the yard.

Quizzed earlier this year on whether the council was stepping on the toes of private enterprise, Mr Averill said the Tauranga Marina Society's park was on council land while the other one, on a port-owned property, had closed months ago because the port wanted the land. Other boat yards were well away.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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