LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Moncton city officials have announced they will spend $ 2.5 million to service the historic Queen Mary ocean liner for the next six months and plan the repairs needed to reopen the tourist destination .
Moncton City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to enter into a $ 2 million temporary management contract with the ship’s current operator, Evolution Hospitality, for the next six months with the option of a six-month extension, The Orange County Register Register reported.
Officials said the remaining $ 500,000 will be paid for the city’s contract engineer, Moffatt & Nichol, to develop the engineering and design repair work, which is estimated to cost an estimated $ 5 million. At first it was not known how the city would pay for future repairs.
Council members agreed on Tuesday that regaining control of the ship for the first time since 1978 gives the city the opportunity to obtain and use an asset that is synonymous with the city.
“Everywhere we go, the Queen Mary represents Moncton,” said Councilor Mary Zendejas. “Nobody will look after the Queen Mary as well as we do now that we have her back in our hands.”
Moncton has often outsourced the management of the ship to third parties, most recently to Urban Commons Queensway LLC in 2016. In June, the company gave up its lease as part of ongoing insolvency proceedings. City officials then feared the lease would be auctioned off without the city’s word.
John Keisler, the city’s director of economic development, said the company had not given the city enough time to solicit bids to manage the ship and so temporarily entered into a contract with Evolution Hospitality, an existing partner, to serve the Give city time to put together a long-term plan.
Evolution Hospitality will maintain 24/7 security services, daily maintenance schedules, custody services and its agreement with historical advisor John Thomas. The $ 300,000 a month the city pays the company will also cover utility bills. The contract also includes a reserve of $ 200,000, bringing the cost to $ 2 million.
The Queen Mary has been closed since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020 and will remain closed for repairs, said Keisler. City officials expect them to start the temporary work soon, including installing temporary bilge pumps and leak warning systems, removing lifeboats and installing an emergency generator ashore.
City officials also voted on Tuesday for a change for staff to consider establishing a historical designation for the Queen Mary, including a federal national monument declaration.