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Mqt City Commissioners/Harbor Advisory Committee Working Group

16 March 1999

You have already heard my argument that it is not fair to further charge the launchers when the launchers are already contributing a disproportionate share of revenue to the marinas. Now I would like to address the business of operating a marina.

Do you honestly think raising launch fees will increase revenue by $14,000 as the City Administration proposes? Well, we all know that will not happen. What do you believe will happen? If you believe less, then why were you told $14,000? I want to believe when the Commission told the City Administration to make the marinas self-sufficient, your intent was for the Administration to determine those marina areas needing attention and then recommend practical solutions. Raising launching fees is not a practical solution. The City Administration forced this idea through the Harbor Advisory Committee and packaged it to the Commission last year with insufficient thought and analysis. Clearly, no one has shown the launch facilities are a problem and therefore, they should not be used as a solution.

I hope you heard the Escanaba City representative say on TV6 they kept their rates at $2 and their launch volume was kept high enough to generate sufficient income to operate the launch facilities. I believe they have a relatively new marina and are probably confronted with many similar financial problems as we are. Their marina, and obviously other marinas close to us, is able to charge $2 or less. Why are we going in a different direction than those who are apparently successful? What is this telling us boaters and taxpayers? Raising fees is a better solution, when lowering them might achieve the same results?

There's an old saying, "Don't Fool With Success!" and you are fooling with something quite successful and profitable to the marinas. I request you revert to the successful rates of $2.50 and $45 and turn your attention to marina areas that are not successful. Raising launch fees is bad business.


D. Joseph Buys

Presentation to Marquette City Commission

8 March 1999

  1. I first wish to present to you with 119 more petition signatures to add to the 888 already presented last meeting, giving you 1,007 so far – and we stopped seeking them over two weeks ago.
  2. At your last meeting, Commissioner Schneider asked about other marina rates. Since that time, fellow boater Jim Price and I have gathered several marina launch fees on letterhead and fax. I then wrote a letter to each Commissioner on 5 March citing those rates and attaching three available supporting documents. Here are the remaining two – Escanaba and Big Bay.
  3. I would like to recap those nearby marina rates now for the public. However, I will not, at Commissioner Bradley’s request for brevity last meeting, read my letter to you. I wish to say my letter addressed several points not previously mentioned and I again asked for your consideration to hold the fees at $2.50/$40. This is analogous to a business with one small division that is doing well and a much larger division that is not. The CEO would probably not request the small division to double its prices but rather look to improve the one not making money.
  4. Autrain


    Big Bay


    $15/year, $2 2nd veh


    $2.00/day, $10/week













    $25/year, $2 2nd veh

  5. I would now like to thank you Commissioners for reconsidering the launch fee schedule for 1999.


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