Fintry Queen’s days at dock are numbered

City says its ready to tow the once popular lake cruise ship to secluded Sutherland Bay.

The Fintry Queen’s days at its current location are numbered.

The city has given the owners of the once-popular floating restaurant and lake cruise ship  until today to respond to an order to remove the vessel or see it towed to another location.

Mayor Walter Gray, prior to heading to Penticton for a meeting of B.C. mayors on  Wednesday, said if the city did not hear back from the owner  or a representative by today, the vessel will be towed to Sutherland Bay, just north the Tolko Mill.

The Fintry Queen has not sailed since 2008 and is miredina bankrupcy proceeding.

The courts have awarded a Calgary businessman and former owner, Mark Chessor, control of the ship because he holds a large mortgage on the vessel.

Earlier this year, the city said it wanted the Fintry Queen, former car ferry-turned faux paddlewheeler, removed from its downtown dock off Kerry Park, where it has sat idle for the last 3 1/2 years.

City Hall is eager to get underway with construction of a new marina and says the plan does not include space for the Fintry Queen.  A $3.2 million contract to build the marina has already been awarded to Westcorp Properties Inc. and the city has said it wants the marina completed in time for the 2013 boating season.

Following the discovery of extensive vandalism inside the Fintry Queen in March—believed to have been done by squatters—city council approved the city directive ordering the vessel to be removed by the end of March. But the deadline came and went with no apparent action by the city.

The city says it is owed $80,000 in unpaid moorage fees for the Fintry Queen.

Local man Andy Schwabb, who once operated the Fintry Queen, has been acting as a local representative and trying to find a buyer but has, so far, had no luck.

In addition to the mortgage and the moorage fees owed to the city, an estimated $40,000 is owed for unpaid wages to former Fintry Queen staff and $100,000 is owed to the Cove Resort in West Kelowna for damage to a private dock.