Do Not Avert Your Eyes

…because, yes, I’m going to talk about The Marina. STOP – RIGHT – THERE! I said, DO NOT AVERT YOUR EYES!

Aerial view of the Lake Park Marina under capacity – 2011

I know, the word “marina” kills brain cells for those who don’t live near the marina or use it. But what I’m about to tell you might be a sort of shock therapy that will stimulate those “Marina Zombie” neurons and bring them back to life. After this, you might forevermore snap to attention at the mention of the word “marina”, for who can say what you may eventually find hidden at the water’s edge if you stick with us. Ready?

The “FY 11 Marina Revenue by Month” spreadsheet shows a $250,000 deficit for the Town of Lake Park’s Marina (for just the past 9 months).

FY 11 Marina Revenue by Month

Huh? What? Isn’t the marina supposed to be our great Town asset?

This money comes out of every taxpayer’s pocket even if they don’t think the marina has anything to do with them. A marina patron told me that if they weren’t a user of the marina, they would be outraged that they have to support this ongoing deficit month by month.

Dang right! And the rest of us don’t even get the sound of gulls and the lull of boats rocking back and forth or the sparkly water view to woo us. What a rip off!

Wonder why it’s costing so much? Turns out, the marina is only at about 61% occupancy according to the Town’s June 24th weekly marina update report. The town should be embarrassed; their lost revenue is showing!

They’re doing nothing of note to attract new customers, and they’re actually driving them away (including resident boaters) by doing things like:

1.  Raising slip fees in slow economic times

2.  Installing parking meters in front of boat owner parking

3.  Not providing Cable TV service

4.  Allowing certain vessels to occupy slips that restrict ingress & egress

5.  Not offering basic boating supplies, snacks and beverages for sale

6.  Inadequate parking for trailered boats at the ramp – the new parking we paid $2.4 million for sits vacant and behind a locked gate.

7.  Poorly maintained walkways adjacent to slips (green carpet covering brickwork)

8.  Allowing high volume vehicle traffic to occupy owner parking to accommodate commercial vessels

9.  Upstairs facilities are not being utilized or promoted (how about a snack bar)?

10.The marina is not advertised in marine publications.

11. Lake Park residents do not get a discount when renting a slip at our marina.

12.Marina Director is now billing boaters for unloading passengers at the fuel pier after-hours, even though he previously okayed this. Is the town making up rules as they go?

From an unfriendly atmosphere, to the meters, the lack of amenities and the running deficit, the Lake Park marina is soaking our town and our wallets. How will the new proposed budget (coming soon to a town near you!) reflect this ongoing predicament which the poor handling of the Marina imposes on ALL residents?

You are in luck. There is a meeting tonight. Show up and ask!

Hat tip: Brent Headberg and information via comment from Captain Ken Gibson in the Marina section. (see top of page)