20% hike proposed in town mooring, outhaul rates
The Harbor Management Commission voted 5-0 last week to recommend to the Town Council that they raise mooring and out-haul rates by 20 percent.
The commissioners agreed on the new across-the-board increase schedule at a special budget meeting held at the police station on Friday.
Specifically, the recommendations were for resident mooring rates to increase from $2.50 per foot to $3.35 per foot, commercial moorings from $5.60 to $6.70, and non-resident moorings from $5.60 to $6.70. Club moorings were the exception- their rates will double from $500 to $1,000. West Ferry and Ft. Getty out-hauls will go from $350-$400 to $420 for those with a fishing license and $480 for those without a license. Beach permits will be raised from $50 to $60, while late fees and wait list fees will remain the same. Beach permits for boats with beams over 11-feet will be increased from $20 to $24 per foot.
The commissioners also voted 5-0 to accept the budget for fiscal year 2007-08. Recommendations for both mooring rate increases and the budget will be presented to the Town Council as agenda items at the second Town Council meeting in March.
The Town Council rejected the commission's first recommendations for mooring rate increases presented at their meeting on Feb. 20. The council advised the commission to distribute the proposed fee increases more evenly and return with a revised proposal as soon as possible. The most vocal complaints were from out-haul permit holders who felt that the original increase from $350 to $525 for those with a commercial fishing license and $420 to $600 for those without a commercial license was unfair. The council sided with the out-haul permit holders even though the out-haul fees had not been increased in several years while mooring rates had gone up.
Several out-haul permit holders attended the meeting at the police station last Friday to hear what the new recommendations would be. They appeared to be satisfied with the new rate schedule, saying that the increases should be the same percentage for everybody.