The state’s Department of Natural Resources’ Michigan State Waterways Commission has proposed a 2.65-percent increase for the seasonal rates for the state-sponsored facilities. The increase equals $132 a year, bringing charter rates to $4,984 for 2012.
From 2008 through the 2011 season, the charter seasonal rates have been $4,852 per season, with each receiving a refund of $906 per year. The $906 rebate would also be a part of this year’s rate increase.
In addition, the DNR is proposing a 1.15-percent increase for transient boaters for the 2012 season.
The proposed rate increase has drawn a negative reaction from the charter fishing community docking at Chinook Pier.
Charter boat captain Chip Klein, who has been at the city docks for 30 years, said he was concerned about the rate hike.
“Every year, you’ve been asking us for more money and more money,” he said to City Council at its meeting Tuesday night.
Klein said the city’s Harbor Board would be better served to lower rates in order to increase business for the surrounding community and entice more boaters to fill the marina during non-peak times.
Instead of passing the new rates at Tuesday’s council meeting, city officials decided to delay action until Jan. 16. This delay will allow officials to crunch numbers, and see what the city’s costs are and how they might be able to tweak the rate increase — with the possibility of a change to the rebate structure.
Mayor Geri McCaleb said they needed to look at all sides of the equation.
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