The houseboat that welcomes drivers into the houseboat capital of Canada will soon be sitting empty and council is deciding what to do next with the recognizable building.
District staff brought the item to council for discussion at the March 8 committee of the whole meeting, as the houseboat will no longer be occupied at the end of April. The current occupant, Hooked Decor and What Knots, will be terminating their lease and the building will be available for whatever use council decides on.
Chief administrative officer Kelly Bennett said she has received a few inquiries about the houseboat already and said council will want to make sure they use the building appropriately as it is a public asset.
In the past, the visitor centre was housed in the houseboat and district operations manager Darrell Symbaluk confirmed there was vandalism to the structure a few times, adding that replacement of the oddly-shaped windows was costly.
The houseboat does have a two-inch water line connected to it, but no sewer service.
Council discussed using the houseboat as a marketing billboard and potentially adding picnic tables to the area to turn the structure into a rest stop.
Bennett said the rent for the houseboat is about $35o a month, so having an occupant in there is not a financial need for the district.
Council decided to ask for public input, but first the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) will be contacted to ensure it will not need the land during the Bruhn Bridge reconstruction project, as the district licenses the land from MOTI and will need their permission to change the area’s use.
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