OUR VIEWS: Keep seawall mooring free

Oct 12, 2012


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 news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


Magic Mike

I agree! Keep the waterfront free!

Tri-cities realist

Who controls the sea wall, the city of grand haven or the corps of engineers?


That would be a good question for the Tribune's MAILBAG feature!


While walking the boardwalk this summer, my husband and I met a couple from Hudsonville, who come to Grand Haven and moor their boat along the boardwalk. Their boat is stored at a local marina in GH. They told us they love to come to Grand Haven, because we are the only port along this area where you can moor your boat for free and walk from the boat right into town, where they get a bite to eat, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We should welcome these water friends to our town, it is good to show how welcoming we are as a community and it is good for our local businesses, especially our restaurants. Also, we enjoy meeting them, they are often very friendly. Please keep it free, everyone will benefit!!!!


why not make inprovments to our town..that water frount is one of the best things we have, I say make it look great and charge for it $$$$$$ for the town.we havent had a city manager who would get it done since Larry D..Iknow he was some what of a wessele but he got things done.


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