Launch hours leave marine repair shop owner high and dry

'They're basically telling people they can't go boating at eight o'clock in the morning'

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
September 14, 2013 01:00 AM

City staff will work with a marine repair shop owner to ease his growing anger about the hours of operation at the Pioneer Park boat launch.

For the last four or five years Robin Reeb, owner of Robin's Marine and Snowmobile Service, has found access to the boat launch barred from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m.

"They're basically telling people they can't go boating at eight o'clock in the morning," Reeb told The Daily News.

"If you show up there at 10:10 (at night) you're screwed. You can't take your boat off the water, especially in July or August when you want to stay on the water until 10 at night."

Although frustrated, the matter came to a head Friday morning when one of Reeb's employees and a customer went to put a boat in the water at Pioneer at 9 a.m. The gate was still locked.

Like any good mechanic, Reeb likes to test the work done on a customer's boat before returning it, he said. In this case, he couldn't.

Reeb said rivers and lakes are under federal jurisdiction and should be open to the public at all times.

The Thompson River might be federal jurisdiction, but the park is City property and governed by the Parks Regulation bylaw, which dictates parks close at 11 p.m., said City parks and civic facilities manager Jeff Putnam.

"We have quite a few (gates) to close, so we usually start are 10 and finish up around 11," he said.

Gates are opened early in the morning, so Putnam can't explain why access to the Pioneer Park boat launch would be blocked at 9 a.m.

"It should have been open," said Putnam.

He said City staff would address Reeb's concerns.

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