With fall storms battering the lakes and the occasional morning frost creeping across car windows, boat owners may be more concerned with getting their crafts out of the water than with the next boating season.
However, a change of schedule may have boat owners preparing for next year.
Char Seise, the community affairs manager for Grand Haven, said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) changed its reservation schedule this month, prompting her to go before the City Council with recommendations for 2020.
With the schedule change comes an increase in slip reservation rates at Grand Haven’s Municipal Marina, to which Seise suggested keeping closest to the current fees, along with recommending keeping rates the same for fishing charters in 2020, extending a long-term lease to Paddle Pub and keeping slip No. 1 out of the DNR’s reservation system.
“This year, we are three months ahead of where we have been in the past,” she said. “We are normally looking at these rates in January. I am suggesting the rates stay most closely to the same as they were last year.”
City Council approved rate “G” for Fridays and Saturdays and rate “E” for Sunday through Thursday, as well as Seise’s other recommendations.
The “G” rating starts at $40 for a 25-foot boat, similar to last year. The “E” rating starts at $34 for a 25-foot boat, slightly higher than last year’s $30 for a craft of the same size.
Special groups will continue to be charged by the slip length instead of the boat length, and slips not paid for by organizers two weeks in advance of an event will be released to the general public, similar to 2019.
As for one of the other recommendations, Seise told council that there is currently one slip, No. 28, which is kept out of the DNR’s reservation system due to the “unique” size of the boat needed to fit there. Seise said boats for this slip are reserved in-house to ensure the right parameters are met.
Like slip 28, Seise recommended keeping slip 1 out of the DNR’s reservation system, but for different reasons.
“It’s something that we could perhaps use in the future for an endowment for the stadium, to continue to build resources there,” Seise said, noting the city could perhaps build slip 1 fees into some of the special events there.
Seise said she expects the slip would continue to be used during the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival as part of a fundraising effort.
“I think it’s a very insightful recommendation that Char has brought forward that gives us a little bit of flexibility next summer,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “If we have concerts down there and have access to slip 1, we could use that as part of the fundraising for the concert series. It would be very valuable.”