Waterway Houseboat land sale underway, campsite planned | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Waterway Houseboat land sale underway, campsite planned

Plans for Waterways land coming together.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / District of Sicamous
November 28, 2019 - 9:14 AM

The future of the vacant Waterway Houseboats property is looking brighter with plans for a beach, park and RV campground coming together.

The District of Sicamous Development Corporation in partnership with the District of Sicamous announced they’ve made an offer to purchase the 16.33-acre property — along with docks and two floating buildings — for $2 million.

This offer has been accepted by the receiver.

READ MORE: Coverage of Waterway Houseboats difficulty

According to a press release issued by the two parties, the aim is to consider developing the property into a recreation area, including 75 RV and camping sites, complete with modern services and amenities as well as a public beach, park and boat launch.

Both parties, “see exceptional value in the location and the land for our community and want to ensure that the property is developed for use by all.”

The process to convert the land and existing infrastructure into a beach, park and RV campground will have a very low impact to the environment.

The development corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary development company of the District of Sicamous governed by a five-member board of directors. The development corporation’s mandate is to pursue and increase economic development activity in the community.

The Nov. 26 the sale is conditional upon completion of a phase two environmental assessment, approved financing and completion of a business case and pro forma.

Waterway Houseboats owed more than $13 million when it was put into receivership.

Around $8 million of that debt was owed to CIBC bank, which pursued the receivership efforts that came to be June 11. The remaining $5,394,517 was owed to unsecured creditors.

The company also had about just as much in assets, though whether they will turn into anything remains to be seen.

The receiver has listed the houseboat company’s creditors on its web page and said that as of June 11, the estimated book values of the company’s assets were $13,331,696.

There was $33,456 in cash at the company, accounts receivable of $459,085, prepaid expenses of $243,024, inventory of $527,105, property and equipment of $3,127,538, property held for development valuing $7,867,993 and money from related parties of $1,073,494.

Waterway, went into receivership June 11 on the heels of a high profile lawsuit.

"As many of you will be aware, Waterway has been a part of the fabric this community for over 50 years. As you may also be aware, Waterway suffered a devastating flood in 2012, and since that time, the Waterway team has done an exceptional job in a very difficult situation, keeping the company operating and even growing," read a statement from Waterways Houseboats Ltd. and Vinco Holdings Ltd.

"We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year with a sense of optimism and pride in what we had accomplished. The devastating flood that occurred in 2012 put us on our heels but with the help of very able legal counsel we pursued an action in damages against the province, the District of Sicamous and the neighbouring landowners whose bridge was instrumental in damaging our property. After a 61 day trial, the BC Supreme Court issued its judgment on April 16."

The thrust of their case against the province, the District of Sicamous and some area residents, was that a replacement bridge built after a 1997 flood was built too low. During the 2012 flood, a truck was swept into the creek, eventually slamming into the bridge. A bottleneck was created and water and debris flowed over the creek’s banks and massive damage occurred. The court awarded the company a quarter of what they had been asking for.

At any time before Jan. 9, 2020 if the development corporation feels the conditions cannot be met, the development corporation may collapse the purchase and the $100,000 refundable deposit will be returned.

Once the due diligence date has passed, as the property is in receivership, the sale will go before the supreme court of BC for approval on Jan. 30, 2020. The sale will close no later than Feb. 28, 2020.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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