Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)

Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

If it sails, floats or fits in his boats, Glenn Moyer has towed or hauled it on the waters of Shuswap Lake

The owner of Glenn’s Water Taxi is looking to continue operating his service after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19.

Moyer went to the District of Sicamous to try to secure moorage space on the public wharf at the end of Main Street until a more permanent solution could be found. He said his efforts to secure moorage at one of the marinas in the Sicamous Channel have been unsuccessful so far as they are all fully booked and have a waiting list.

Along with offering rides to and from boat-access cabins and houseboats, Moyer told council he offers an emergency towing service when boats lose power out on Shuswap Lake, making quick access to his boat important. He also noted that he takes pride in offering a flat rate for his services even after dark, and the users of his service have been very appreciative.

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Sicamous council discussed Moyer’s request with him at its April 14 meeting. Coun. Malcom Makayev said the district’s wharf regulations would probably not allow its use by a private business but he raised the possibility of offering Moyer a district contact for towing away boats which are illegally moored overnight.

District CAO Evan Parliament confirmed that other commercial operators had sought moorage on the public dock, but were denied as the district’s bylaw does not allow it. He added that district staff could work with any recommendation from council.

Coun. Jeff Mallmes said if the district were to make a deal with Moyer, he should be charged approximately what he would pay at one of the other marinas in exchange for moorage.

Moyer said he has no problem paying for moorage and assisting with bylaw enforcement on the water.

Coun. Colleen Anderson, a former manager at Waterway Houseboats, said she could vouch for the good work he does on the water and suggested other benefits of having a skilled boat operator contracted with the district, such as providing help with fixing lights and water intakes on the lake.

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District staff was left with the task of discussing a contract with Moyer.

Moyer said he would be pleased with an opportunity to continue running his water taxi service and is bringing in safety measures to make sure he is compliant with COVID-19 rules.

Moyer said he finds his work fulfilling, particularly when he can tow a boat out of a dangerous situation or assist with an emergency response. He recalled being hired by friends of a man who was missing after a September 2019 boat crash to take them out on a search effort. Despite spending six hours on the water, outlasting the RCMP and search and rescue crews, Moyer only took $100 from the searchers to cover the cost of gas, saying he did not want to profit from such a tragedy. He was proud to receive a Christmas card signed by everyone who was on his boat that night the following year.

Moyer said his job is not always so high stakes, recalling a trip far up a northern arm of the lake to deliver four pizzas and a pack of cigarettes. .

Mostly the cargo is people excited to get to their cabins or meet their friends on houseboats and Moyer is happy to deliver.

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