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The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands council has approved a St. Lawrence Cruise Lines request for overnight stays at Ivy Lea Wharf.

This occurred during a recent committee of the whole council meeting in Lansdowne.

At a meeting on Dec. 4, the committee of the whole received a delegation from John Chomniak, on behalf of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines (SLC), seeking permission to have one of its ships dock overnight at the Ivy Lea Wharf on the following dates in 2024: May 26, June 11, July 26, Aug. 11, Sept. 25 and Oct. 22.

Chomniak noted that SLC has used the Ivy Lea Wharf for overnight visits in the past and would like to return to Ivy Lea as an overnight stopover.

At a meeting on Dec. 11, council passed a resolution directing staff to bring back a report regarding further information about the cruise company’s request.

Staff has held discussions, and a site visit at the Ivy Lea Wharf with Chomniak, to gain information about the vessel that would be visiting the wharf.

Staffers were concerned about noise and how the vessel would fit on the wharf. Chomniak has advised that SLC has taken noise measurements of the on-board generator used to power the ship while in port and that the measured decibel levels from outside the ship are comparable to a household dishwasher.

During the site visit, Chomniak described how the ship would be moored to the fixed and floating portions of the wharf and assured staff that the vessel could be safely placed without obstructing the boat ramp or the water intake pipe for the dry hydrant.

This was further confirmed by Jason Clark, president of SLC, who did a separate visit to the wharf with Chomniak. Kehoe Marine, who constructed the wharf, has confirmed that the wharf structure can accommodate the size of ship proposed by SLC.

In response to staff’s question regarding the potential impact on residents of Ivy Lea, Clark advised that the ship will dock on or about 7 p.m. at which time there will be dinner sittings followed by on-board entertainment. Most on-board evenings conclude around 10 p.m.

The capacity for the ship is 60 passengers. Clark further advised, from past experience, approximately 10 to 15 passengers may disembark and walk around Ivy Lea. Clark confirmed that he does not expect a great number of passengers strolling through the village.

Clark also confirmed that SLC has no plans to offer transportation from the wharf to land attractions such as the casino, playhouse, or restaurants. Therefore, the presence of the ship will not add motorized traffic in Ivy Lea.

Staff has confirmed with the township’s insurer that there will be no impact on premiums as long as there is a contract with SLC that includes an indemnity, requirements of insurance coverage and a hold harmless clause that protects the township. Clark has advised that SLC is well experienced with such types of contracts, as they are a common requirement at other ports that SLC visits

The agreement will apply for the six identified dates during the 2024 season. Docking fees will be charged in accordance with the general rates and fees bylaw. Consideration for overnight stays in subsequent years will be subject to approval by council.

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