Lease of Rockport customs dock to continue

The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands council recently passed a bylaw to renew the lease of the Rockport Customs Dock to the Friends of the Rockport Customs Restoration Society.

The Friends of the Rockport Customs Restoration Society lease the property commonly known as the Rockport Customs Dock. The five-year term of the existing lease will expire on March 31, 2023. The Friends group had requested a new lease be entered at the end of the current term for a period of two years.

The Friends are a group of volunteers who have fundraised and completed numerous projects to restore and improve the Rockport Customs Dock. During their tenancy, the Friends have transformed the property from an unsafe and derelict site to a community showpiece where residents and visitors are welcome to enjoy the waterfront.

Coun. Brock Gorrell said the site in question is under two current projects – painting of the decking and the completion of a donor wall.

“Which is going to go on the west fence line,” said Gorrell. “It’s going to be pretty lovely. There were a lot of donors to that project, raising $614,000.”

With the easing of COVID restrictions last summer, the Friends of the Rockport Customs Restoration Society were able to host events such as music nights at the property.

The Friends requested a two-year term for the new lease as they anticipate some changes to the composition of their board of directors over that period.

As the term of the new lease approaches its end on May 31, 2025, the board believes it will be in a better position to determine its requirements for another lease.

The annual rent will continue to be a nominal $1.

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times