Bay Harbor is paying for itself
By Geoff Belcher
Jul 18, 2014, 19:45
The Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor and Marina project is already well on its way to paying for itself, City Clerk David Kolf told the city council Tuesday.
The council met Tuesday in the first of a series of workshops to finalize the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
"We just want to assure people that we're not using taxpayer funds to subsidize the harbor," Kolf said.
Although the harbor only opened to the public on June 28 and won't officially have an official "grand opening" until next weekend, Kolf said, the city has already leased 60 of the marina's slips. "And most of those are long-term," he said.
Kolf said Harbor Master Chuck Fortin is already "really busy – he's probably meeting with for our five people a day ... and we're starting to see that people are in a hurry to guarantee that they get the slip that they want at the size that they need."
Fortin is "chomping at the bit" to sell fuel to the boaters, along with ice and other necessities, Kolf said.
"Chuck is pretty confident we're going to be able to pay all (of the harbor's) payroll expenses solely through fuel sales," he said. The city has to set rates for ice and fuel and finalize procedures to accept credit cards on-site.
The procedures were supposed to be comp leted this week, Kolf said. The harbor will have to charge a "convenience fee" on credit card purchases so that the city's taxpayers aren't hit with Mastercard and Visa charges, Kolf said.
Since the harbor opened at the end of June, Kolf said, it has already brought in about $40,000 in revenues, Kolf said: "It's off to a much better start than even I was projecting."
The full-service marina contains 160 slips, ranging from 35 to 60 feet, all with electrical and water service connections; 12 of the slips are ADA compliant for boaters with disabilities.
A fuel dock and pump-out stations on-site.
The harbor also has a 350 foot day pier and includes the 1,000 foot Jimmy Rutherford Pier with covered fishing platforms.