The following letter was issued to SaultOnline.com from the President of the Board of Directors of the SMRMHC
It is with a grave heart that I compose this e-mail, imploring the Mayor and City Council to consider the following.
The Board of the MS Norgoma (SMRMHC) received an e-mail issued, Friday, 15 March 2019, by The Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie to the Board of Directors of the MS Norgoma.
The City of Sault Ste Marie intends to relocate the vessel to a temporary location at the Algoma Steel Properties, the cost of which is approx. $50,000.00 and a daily fee of $40.00 ($1,200.00/mon).
This location does not allow the operation of the MS Norgoma as a Museum Ship, therefore denying us the ability to:
1) Employ the usual eleven (11) students for summer maintenance and operations.
2) Filming of the movie, “Search Out The Land”, scheduled for this summer.
3) Scheduled Events such as:
Community Partnerships to develop gardens on Board the Norgoma.
Pay what you can Night Markets.
Open Mic Night’s allowing youth to showcase their talents.
Partnerships with Navy League and Sea Cadets to do restoration, training, drills and events on board the Norgoma. A venue for their 100th Anniversary including an exhibit and ongoing exhibit development.
Fundraisers and events showcasing local small businesses and emerging artists, providing space for them to show, sell their work.
Provide a Connection to Marine History. Bondar Marina is part of the North Shore Marina Tourism Council and mandated to bring tourism to the marina.
The Norgoma has also been recently used for Wedding Parties, Retirement Parties and similar events.
The Board would like to propose the following:
We understand the City’s position regarding reconstruction of the marina. We will agree to a relocation however in honouring the 1981 agreement with the City to deliver a museum attraction venue, we are requesting a new berthing site that being the west side pier of RB Park, former site of Lock Tours Canada Chief Shingwaulk tour boat. This could be done at no cost to the City, and continue to be operated without investment from the City.
It should be noted that the Norgoma has been operating for the past five (5) years without any Financial support from the City of Sault Ste, Marie.
Additionally there would be potential for a lease agreement, at this new location, for the operating season, which would benefit the City.
Please consider the above with all the positives we have seen in the past 2-3 years of operation. Increase Revenue, Engagement, Partnerships.
Please note I will not be available to attend the upcoming Council meeting, Monday, 18 March 2019, as I will be out of the Country for several weeks.
In light of the short notice re: being made aware this matter would be on the City Council agenda March 18, I am asking that City Council defer the staff recommendation in the report at this time and consider our request for relocation and leasing of the west side pier of Roberta Bondar Park. With notice, we would be happy to make a more fulsome presentation to Council at an agreed upon time.
President of the Board of Directors of the SMRMHC, representing the Board.