BYC washrooms open throughout Celtic Colours
Commodore Woodford concerned about future public access
Bras d’or Yacht Club (BYC) Commodore Eileen Woodford updated the Village of Baddeck Commission on Yacht Club washroom use, and community contributions to washroom maintenance at the Sept. 12 monthly meeting.
BYC closed its washrooms to the public May 20 - July 20 due to lack of funding, opening only for Canada Day and Festiville Baddeck on July 9.
“I really feel it's important that we have a sustainable, equitable approach to meet public needs with respect to washrooms,” said Woodford.
An estimated 49,000 people used the BYC washrooms in 2017, some of the volume attributable to the Canada 150 tourism spike. In 2018, it’s anticipated 30,000 people will use them.
BYC members and special events visitors (including Celtic Colours, Cabot Trail Relay Race and Regatta Week) make up 23-38% of washroom users. The general public accounts for 62-77% (Amoeba Sailing Tours customers - 29%, visitors and Kidston Island users – 33%).
While the public accounts for 62% of use at minimum, BYC pays 88.4% of operational costs. Total operating costs for 20042017 were $112, 058. During that time, BYC contributed $99,053, the Village contributed $10,558, the County contributed $2000 and Amoeba Sailing Tours contributed $447. Operating costs include daily cleanings, twice daily during Regatta Week.
In 2004, the Village of Baddeck and BYC split the $20,000 capital cost for constructing public washrooms located on the first floor of the BYC.
The BYC Board invited key stakeholders to meetings January and February 2018 to outline issues and request support. Stakeholders included the Village, County, Amoeba Sailing Tours, Baddeck Area Business and Tourist Association (BABTA) and Baddeck Lions Club. Unfortunately, they were not well attended.
Of the invited stakeholders, the following have made contributions this year: County - $5000 in two instalments, Amoeba Sailing Tours - $1000, Village – $1500 (commitment). Atlantic Cruise Lines agreed to pay $1 per use for their passengers, Woodford says.
BYC has cobbled together enough funding to keep the washrooms open to the public until the end of Celtic Colours Music Festival, but is concerned about where money will come in the future.
Village Chair Brian Morrison stated Sept. 12 that it was unfair for BYC to be saddled with most of the operational costs. Discussion followed as to who should take leadership of the issue – government, community committee, etc. Morrison offered to seek advice from other villages at the Nova Scotia Association of Nova Scotia Villages AGM in mid-september before any further action is taken.