Kelowna rejects plan to dock Fintry Queen off City Park
After a detailed review of a request to dock the Fintry Queen at City Park by the boats new owner, Kelowna city council has decided not to pursue the proposal.
"We know a lot of people in Kelowna like the history associated with the Fintry Queen - and so do we - but what we're deciding on is whether building a dock to accommodate this business is in the best interests of taxpayers and people who want to use this portion of the waterfront," said Mayor Walter Gray.
The Fintry Queen's new owner, Andy Schwab, was disappointed by the decision, but is confident the iconic passenger vessel will find other suitable docking locations in Okanagan Lake communities.
"This is an opportunity for the Fintry Queen to go somewhere else and be something else," said Schwab.
Those supporting the Fintry Queen were diligent in their detailed request to build a dock near the old Aquatics area of City Park, said the city's property manager, Ron Forbes. Discussions were very thorough, said Forbes, but after reviewing all the options, there wasn't a suitable place on public property to be home base for a passenger boat this big.
"The city appreciated Andy's cooperation in getting the Fintry Queen moved from the downtown pier and his investment in the moorage facility in Sutherland Bay," said Forbes. "We've had a good working relationship with Andy and wish him the best in securing a permanent moorage location."
Schwab said he is pursuing opportunities already in motion in other Okanagan communities.
"We trust City Council to make the right decision," said Schwab. "Given the new marina development and all the changes, we can appreciate they want to see their vision completed before making further commitments."