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New Shuswap search and rescue boathouse location plans remain unmoored

Station 106 rescue base structure being welded together, council unsure where it will be placed
The proposed location for the RCMSAR Station 106 Shuswap’s new boathouse, which is currently being built. Sicamous council await a Qualified Environmental Professional’s approval before deciding if the boathouse will be placed here. (District of Sicamous image)

The new Shuswap search and rescue boathouse currently being built still doesn’t have a permanent home.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station (RCMSAR) Station 106 Shuswap has been hard at work planning its new boathouse since the structure was first proposed in 2017. In May 2022, construction officially started with a symbolic first weld and just this month the pontoons are all completed and the steel structure is being welded together.

The current proposed location for the boathouse is at the end of a dock along Sicamous’ Main Street landing, which has 16 boat slips and two dragon boat slips. At the Feb. 22 Sicamous council meeting, Coun. Gord Bushell said he has discussed the location with RCMSAR.

To place the boathouse on the end of the dock would require a section 11 tenure amendment and an approved assessment from a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), which can take a long time to process.

Bushell suggested a second option, which was to rearrange the boat slips to accommodate the boathouse alongside the dock, which wouldn’t reduce the number of slips but change where they were in the water.

Both options require QEP approval.

RCMSAR 106 doesn’t have a preference, said Bushell, as there is enough room to manoeuvre their boats from both locations. The organization will also fundraise to enlist a QEP and for any other associated costs.

While there was concern raised about reducing the number of deep water slips by moving them back on the dock, the location was still deemed the best out of the possible options.

“It is being built right now so there is urgency about where they’re going to land,” said Mayor Colleen Anderson.

The motion was amended to say the recommendation for the boathouse location is now waiting for a completed QEP assessment and more information before moving forward.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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