The controversy around the future of the M.S. Norgoma will be brought back to the table during Monday evening’s City Council meeting.
A resolution in the agenda requests that the St. Mary’s Marine Heritage Centre to be served notice to move the ship out of the Bondar Marina, and is asking the City’s approval in moving it to a temporary location behind Algoma Steel, which was made available to the city by Purvis Marine.
The Marine Heritage Centre will be required to move the Norgoma as soon as weather and ice conditions permit, with a deadline of April 15.
“This site will be inaccessible to the public but will provide a temporary location that removes the vessel from the marina and enables the new dock project to proceed,” Deputy CAO Tom Vair wrote in a report to Council.
According to this resolution, all costs to move the ship must be footed by the Heritage Centre, running them an estimated cost of $50,000. The boat will be allowed one year at Purvis Marine, and must be insured by the owner during the entire duration, as well as for the tow through the Sault Locks to Algoma Steel.
According to the report, if the Heritage Centre should become “insolvent as a result of this activity, the ownership and responsibility for the vessel reverts back to the City.
“In this event, staff envisions two options:
1) Decommission – The vessel would be decommissioned at an estimated cost of $150,000.
2) New owner – The vessel would be provided to another entity that has interest in taking the vessel to a new location (at the expense/liability of the new owner).
“We continue to recognize the SMRMHC volunteers for the numerous hours they have contributed towards the management and maintenance of the M.S. Norgoma. They should be commended for their years of hard work and service.”
Upon the passing of this resolution, city staff will be asked to help the Heritage Centre to coordinate the removal of the docks.
Throughout the course of this controversy, other locations for the Norgoma that were investigated (and rejected) included:
- Parks Canada canal
- Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre
- Sault Area Hospital
- St. Joseph Island; and
- SunCor site