TARPON SPRINGS — City commissioners moved a step closer to increasing docking fees at the city's marina Tuesday night.
The proposed increase is to cover rising costs that the city has to pay to run the 21-slip facility. It was approved unanimously by the five-member commission on its first reading.
The measure will be up for more discussion and possible final approval at the commission's April 21 meeting.
In addition, the city moved ahead with a plan to charge sponge boaters a one-time $165 fee for docking at the sponge docks. This is the first time boaters that sponge would be charged a fee. The fee is to cover water and electricity.
When it comes to the marina, daily rates will increase from 90 cents per foot of boat length to $1.50 per foot. A 26-foot boat that pays about $23 a day would now pay $39. That would be a 65 percent increase.
Monthly rates for residents, which are determined by the square footage of the slip, would go up an average of 15 percent. An 800-square-foot slip would go from $208 a month to $240. A 560-square-foot slip would go from $146 to $168.
Commercial and nonresident vessels would pay higher fees for monthly use: $300 for an 800-square-foot slip, up from $250; and $210 for a 560-square-foot slip, up from $175.
Other changes being considered:
• The implementation of a $25 annual city registration for long-term rentals.
• A $10 per month increase for electricity.
• The maximum stay for transient (short-term) vessels would drop to 14 days from 30 days. Longer stays would require city approval.
• Vessels would be removed for nonpayment if an owner falls 60 days behind.
Demorris A. Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4174.