City officials are looking at changing the mooring policy to place limits on how long a boat can be docked there, as well as a possible fee structure.
The city doesn’t directly receive dollars from the boaters, but downtown businesses certainly do. Boaters tied to the seawall spend thousands of dollars at nearby shops and restaurants during the summer months. These businesses and most of their owners in turn pay city taxes.
We could support setting a 48-hour or higher limit on how long a boat can be moored along the seawall.
There are always abuses. Staying there for days on end should be curtailed, but tying up for the day should be encouraged, free of charge.
Grand Haven is a tourist town and the boats lined up along the seawall provide a festive atmosphere during the summer months.
Enforcement of overnight mooring would also be a nightmare, if not almost impossible. Boats would be coming in at all times of the day and night. They could leave and return. It would take a lot of policing, probably costing more than the fee charged to dock overnight.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said the city's Harbor Board is planning some investments to the seawall designed to protect boats from being damaged while they are tied along it. He said a docking fee could help the city recoup costs for installing the protection.
We got rid of the old parking meters downtown years ago for a reason; there’s no need to put up their equivalent along the waterfront.
Instead, we need to welcome boaters with open arms to our community. They leave a lot of money here and deserve a couple of freebies.
It took years to make Grand Haven a popular tourist attraction. Let’s not taint it in a few minutes by passing some cumbersome and annoying fee schedule for mooring boats along the seawall.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.