Rates are likely going up for recreational and commercial boaters who dock their vessels at Cap Sante Marina.
Over its last couple meetings, the Port of Anacortes commissioners discussed why and how it might raise rates.
The current rates are not covering the costs of maintenance and necessary upgrades, port Executive Director Dan Worra said.
Each year, boater rates bring in between $1.5 million to $2.25 million in net operating income. Capital improvement projects planned for the next four years will cost about $16 million, not including any projects at non-marina locations, Worra said at the meeting. The port will use money from its tax fund and seek grants, but is still planning to invest more than $10 million in projects, he said.
Some of that could be covered from an increased rate system. Without additional money from moorage fees, some projects may not be able to happen, he said.
Costs are also going up, he said. Inflation means it’s costing more and more to provide just upkeep, not including improvement projects, Worra said.
The commission looked at a few projects and how they have changed from the original estimate to a new estimate at current prices.
A maintenance and repair project expected to cost roughly $800,000 will instead total about $1.2 million, Worra said. The B Dock electrical upgrades jumped from an estimated $625,000 to $730,000.
The commission also looked at demand. The marina has been at 100% capacity for several years, Worra said. Some slips have small waitlists but others (particularly for large boats) have a waitlist of more than two years, he said.
The commissioners will likely make their final decision on the amount of increase at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 15. See information at portofanacortes.com.
They are looking at a three-year plan, where rates will go up a little more each week.
For recreational boaters, commissioners are discussing a tiered approach, with percentage of increase based on the size of vessels.
Commercial boaters will likely see a flat-rate increase each year.
Commissioner Ken Goodwin said he supported looking at the increase and mentioned a tiered approach that would mean recreation boaters would pay between 3 and 9% more in rates each year.
“We can put that money into repairs, where it needs to be,” he said.
Commissioner Bonnie Bowers also talked about the importance of the increase and about how the Port of Anacortes now has a jewel at the marina in A Dock, but other parts of the marina need significant repair.
The Cap Sante Marina is well known in the area and in the boating community, and the port should strive to keep it great, she said.