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Oak Harbor Marina rate hike sunk

People walk along the docks at Oak Harbor Marina. The city council last week approved a plan to abandon a 5 percent rate increase scheduled to go into effect next year in the hopes of improving occupancy and making the facility more competitive.  - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
People walk along the docks at Oak Harbor Marina. The city council last week approved a plan to abandon a 5 percent rate increase scheduled to go into effect next year in the hopes of improving occupancy and making the facility more competitive.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor Marina tenants who were supposed to bear the weight of a planned 5 percent rate hike in 2012 have been spared.

The city council last week, Dec. 20, voted 4-0 to abandon the scheduled increase. It’s hoped the action will improve the facility’s occupancy, which has been on the decline over the past year, and keep the marina competitive during a sluggish economy.

“Not only should we be doing this, we should be doing everything in our power to make it more attractive,” City Councilman and Mayor-elect Scott Dudley said.

The rate hike was approved in 2009 as a three-year plan in which rates would increase 5 percent annually until 2012. The money was to be used to pay for operations and maintenance, build capital reserves and help implement small parts of a $19.2 million marina redevelopment plan.

The city council’s decision was made upon recommendation of the Marina Advisory Committee and Development Services, the city department that oversees the 421-slip facility.

Members of the advisory group said they believed the action was necessary for now but would like to have the issue reviewed again in the future. If things improve, the planned increase may be brought back for reconsideration.

City Council members Beth Munns, Bob Severns and Rick Almberg did not vote on the proposal. Munns and Severns excused themselves due to possible conflicts of interest and Almberg was away on a previously excused absence.

 

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