April 18, 2015
I am writing to tell you about some rate changes for the Marina and Mooring areas that I am likely to recommend to the City Council. The intent is to address increased costs that have built up over many years without certain fee adjustments. Ultimately, City fees need to be responsibly-priced.
First,as most of you are aware, a number of our rates are subject to a "continuing City Council Resolution"which adjusts certain rates each July 1,according to the change in the Consumer Price Index for the SF/Oakland area,calculated each February.This annual adjustment is required by the City's loan agreement with the State that built the marina. This adjustment applies to Marina berthing, including liveaboard fees, and normally for all Outer Harbor and East Mooring fees. This year, however, it is only all Marina and East Mooring fees that will be subject to the CPI increase,which is 2.5%
Outer Harbor Mooring fees are proposed for a greater adjustment at a 10% increase for each of the next three years.This is because an analysis of the expenses the City incurs in managing the mooring fields shows that our income does not match our costs.The City has always sought to keep the moorings as affordable as possible,and I believe that even after these increases they will still be so. I am happy to discuss our costs and this rate increase recommendation with mooring licensees.
Also, the fee that Marina berth licensees pay for annual parking stickers, currently set at $10/month, must be increased. Boaters may not realize this, but the Marina Fund must pay the City's Parking Division for these permits at their full cost, which has increased steadily over the past 20 years.The permit fee has never been raised despite the increases,but now we must consider this. I will propose to the City Council that the fee be increased to $20/month. Again,I am happy to talk in more detail with Marina tenants about this recommendation.
Another fee that will be recommended for increase is the small fee for using the public hoist. Currently this fee is $1.50/15 minutes of use; I will recommend to the City Council that it be increased to $3.00/15 minutes. The reason is simple: the cost of maintaining the hoist, which is now 17 years old, far exceeds our income. We need to narrow this gap.
Last, although affecting only a few, I will be recommending that the City Council increase the monthly fee for use of the Yellow Boat Dock from $150 to $200. This fee has also not been raised for 18 years, despite increases in administrative and maintenance costs. This fee only applies to the dive and sailing charter businesses that use the Yellow Boat Dock, next to the London Bridge Pub.
Please know that I find no joy in increasing costs to the boating public, but I must also do my job responsibly. I will dedicate time to be available to speak with boaters between 9 am-12 on April 24, again between 2-S pm on Saturday April 25, and will do my best to take questions at other times as my schedule allows.
I will also provide notice as to the date and location of the City Council meeting which have these recommendations voted on--likely to be next month. Any public member has the right to address the Council with concerns, or support. If adopted, these rate increases, except for parking permits, will go into effect July 1, 2015. The parking permit increase would occur January 1, 2016.
Steve Scheiblauer, Harbormaster