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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping to get some input from those of you who keep your boat at a community pier.

My community is planning on a major renovation and, with that, comes a significant rise in fees.

What body of water is your pier on and what are the yearly rates?

Thanks in advance.

Greg
 

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My dad reports that Ben Oaks is undergoing a major (and badly needed) renovation that will increase pier fees to several hundred/year (from, I think, less than 100 now)....still a bargain, though.

Whether it's a pool, playground or pier, my feeling is that everyone in the community benfits from increased property values when these valuable assets are improved, and while those who use it regularly can pay a bit more, some significant portion of the cost should be born by the whole community. Hopefully your community board is taking that position, too.
 

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Rhode River. I have one of the "expensive" slips, at $420/yr. Some are as little as $250. We're looking to raise the rates for some much-needed renovations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's why I raise this question.

It is a community pier that is in need of rennovation. The current fees are $100 per year. Originally I was told that fees would increase to $100 plus $10 per foot. Recently, I was told that after the rennovations (fixing pier, adding additional slips, perhaps running electric and water, as well as rip-rap for what I don't know) the fees will increase 10 fold. :eek2: When I asked why such a drastic increase and why all of this was needed, the reply that I got was "where else on the river can you keep your boat for less than $1000.

First and foremost, it is a community pier; has been for some 50 years or so. As such, it is limited to the size boat it can harbor. You know what its limitations are, and I'm sorry that your big-a$$ boat can not be accomodated by such.

It is a cheap means of accessing our great river and these people are ruining a good thing. They would rather pay an extra $900 a year for pier rental than use that money for, I don't know, maybe an entire year's worth of gas, fishing rods and reels, perhaps maintenance of their boat...or maybe beer and tournament fees. :D

Almost 90% (9 out of the ten; I think you know who the one belongs to) of these boats just stay tied up most of the year when they're in the water.

It pi$$es me off and can only hope it gets put on hold.

Sorry to ***** guys, but it is something that I really love. :soapbox:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I forgot to mention that originally the pier fees were $30, then they were raised to $50, and finally to $100.

As I said, It's just a small community pier. You can see the old cable system, that I agree needs to be replaced.

Water Sky Water resources Boat Tree
 

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These things typically happen because a small handful of interested residents -- often those who vounteer their time to sit on the community's governing body/pier committee, etc. -- spend the time to get enough support to do the project. In most communities, getting enough support is very easy since folks are generally apathetic, especially if they promise that it will be covered by a user fee (meaning non-boat owners will not have to pay, so really have no dog in the fight). In other words, it's democracy and self-governance at work.

Your best weapon is usually to match their effort, or at least find some folks who agree with you who are willing to offer a competing proposal. That can be easier said than done, I know, but that's your best bet.

One way to get folks attention is to cast doubt on the user-support concept. In my expereince, users rarely end up covering the cost, so the whole community uiltimately pays (and therefore has an interest in these plans right now). Another issue is that your community organization ought to be looking at other community associations, not marinas, for their competition. Unlike a marina, they do not exist to turn a profit. Additionally, when boaters shop for homes, a community with much higher dock users fees than the surrounding area might be a turn-off unless they're really being offered something spectacular in return. Finally, I think that you are correct to raise the issue of fairness. Assuming that the community can raise the fees to whatever it chooses, a drastic raise could garner some sympathy support for ordinary parents who don't have yachts and simply want to take their kids fishing.

Good luck..
 

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I grew up in a small neighborhood that had a community dock on Forked Creek.

Every household paid $100/year (that covered all community fees, not just the dock), and the people who had boats took care of the dock.

The community paid to have pilings driven then built the dock themselves.

This was more than a few years ago (late '60's), I don't know what they pay now, or how the maintainance is handled.

One of the main reasons my parents bought there was the reasonably priced water access.
 

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I personally just finished getting heavily involved in our community pier renovation
Our fees have been 500 a slip for a couple years now and I am not complaining> the one thing is that it took a while to get this thing going and the community saved the whole time.
What you need to think about is the total cost of the slip and then how long till it is paid for. The whole time money goes to the slip, the less cash going to other improvements.
 

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We have a community marina on Beards Creek - off the South River between the two bridges. It has approximately 38 slips (with recent 30A electric and water), a ramp, small covered pavilion and bathroom. The marina organization/budget/money, etc is seperate from the community association (100 homes in the community). We pay a one time fee (now $2000) for a slip and annual dues have been increasing a bit each year but are still only at #325 per year - including electric and water. We are looking at some major costs in the future for redecking and resetting some pilings but the marina budget has always kept a significant amount (I think it is about 15K) in reserve to put towards big expenditures. We have also been lucky that several of the persons on the marina committee are capable of doing most of the typical repair and upkeep work themselves. In recent years we (the marina folks) were able to get the community association to pay approximately half of the substantial costs of rewiring the entire marina and repairing/stabilizing the bulkhead due to the fact that the comminuty marina (in good shape) greatly enhances the value and appeal of all the houses in the community.
If you do not have a reserve fund to access for these marina upgrades it is going to be really, really expensive to do just about anything. The more the community as a whole gets involved (particularly with community $$) then the less control or influence you will have into the final result. More than likely the push will be to change things for bigger boats and more ammenities. One thing that may work to keep things just the way they are is the final cost. Redecking your existing pier (the contractor who looked at ours said we should also replace all the deck beams and supports), adding electric and water and driving a couple dozen new pilings could easlily cost 35K. Is the community is going to front this money or will the current marina tenants be expected to pay?
I would look very carefully at whatever community or marina association rules you may have and try to see how you and others that share your concerns can either use them to your advantage or at least use them to protect what you have now.
Mike H
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the input so far guys. Great info that will be taken into consideration.
 

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I hate to play devils advocate, and I know it is hard going from $100 to $1000, but seriously having a slip on the severn at another marina (non-community) would be at least $2500 a year or more. I know someone who pays $2500 to keep his boat at smith marina with very little facilities -not even a fish cleaning station, who pays $2500 and there is a long wait list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your right, but it's not a marina...yet.
 

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Londontown recently replaced one of the piers. The cost was roughly 100k. It took 8 years of saving and some community money to pay for this. We are charging $15 per ft per year. We have a second pier that will be ready before the fund is built up enough.
We are left to raise fees or acess a special one time fee. I am thinking the 20-25 per ft per year may be the right number
Bob
 

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Here are my thoughts.

It isnt a marina. It is a community dock and amenities that go along with living in the community. It is not for the community to profit from. I moved to my current home for the community amenities. Even though I am on the wait list, I would be upset if they charged "marina-type fees". I am sure I paid a lot more for my home due its location and what the community offers. If paying marina-type fees for slips was what was the norm for the community, then I may have chose another home in a community that didnt have such offerings and paid full marina fees at a marina. Heck, I left a newer 4 bedroom colonial with city water, higher rated elementary school, and side walks throughout the community to buy an older home (1958) with well-water for the amenities like beach, ramp, piers, clubhouse etc. so my children could grow up with more of a "bay lifestyle".

With all that said, there are costs involved with maintaining the facilities. If costs need to go up to keep a the facilities useable, then they need to go up. I believe that a portion of the association dues as well as the fees associated with the slips themselves should bear the expense. I believe a portion of the homeowners association should bear a good portion of the expenses based on the fact that whether or not a person uses those facilities or not, it is in the interest in maintaining the value of the homes within the community. With less and less marinas available and their ever increasing costs, it certainly makes homes more attractive to buyers thus increasing the marketability of the homes. It certainly is one of the reasons it cost so much for a shack on the water.
 

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It seems to me like you should raise your 'questions' with the people who are involved in the project or better yet, spend your time helping instead of complaining. I have been working on this pier for the past year. I moved to the community a few years ago and volunteered to help with the project.

You are mistaken if you think the pier is in need of 'renovation'. The pier is over 50-years old and has broken stringers, deck boards and poles. Repairing the pier at this point is throwing good money after bad. I, along with a few other people, have taken the time, effort and patience to obtain permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment and A.A. County. If anyone has ever dealt with one or all of these agencies, they know the headaches that it involves. The approved plans do not dramatically increase to accomidate 'big-a$$ boats', it will allow for boats up to approximately 30' (not that large compared to some other community facilities).

I'm not quite sure what you mean by a 'cheap means to access the river and these people are ruining a good thing'? The pier is falling down and the shoreline is eroding. By doing nothing, the 'thing that you love the most' will be gone. This is the first community activity that I have volunteered for, I can see why people do not bother to volunteer when obviously some things are not worth the hastle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm glad someone from the community showed up.

I've already admitted that the pier is old and in need. It's the cost and the attitude of some others involved that have struck me wrong.

I came here and posed this question to look at other community costs and assets, what others have done, what it has cost them, and how they went about their proposals with their communities as a whole. You know, some insight, some planning, or as it stands now, a comparison of costs.

I'm sick of it being compared, cost-wise, to marinas on the river.

In your defense, the community, as a whole, did not vote for footing the bill. It was left up to the slip-holders to cover most, if not all, of the costs. Am I correct? I'm sorry, but I was working the night of that last meeting, or I would have chimed in then.

Why do I chime in now? Because I was told one fee, and then was presented with a huge number. I had heard rumblings throughout the neighborhood that things were going to be done, but only found out this past Halloween what the rates were going to be raised to.

I've been stewing ever since.

I would love to talk to you about it.
410-370-7994

And don't get me started about the volunteer stuff. Just ask who kept those grounds down there neat and respectable the entire year before last. Not that I minded.
 

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Need Imput on Community Marinas

May I take a moment of your time to get comments on a Paticular problem I & my Community are faced with

--* Deale Beach is located on Carr Creek --It is stated to get First time Dredging this Spring --The plans & money has been Approved --

--* we have a Deale Beach Citizens Assoc. with aprox 45 paid members-

--* We also 2 years ago voted to become a Tax District--The Deale Beach Tax District

*When Now my Question ?--In 1935 , when the Deale Beach community was built , aprox 8 access to the water areas were saved to give all community home & lot owners Constant access to the water --This has been through the years a unwritten code & use has been by only a few because of water depth --Now with the Dredging , the small "gut " we call it will be dredged & piers will Emerge ---The Citizens Assoc. 45 members are Attemptinhg to gain --Title-- to this Community Access to the water --108 home & lot owners then will have to pay for using the Improved " Gut " area --Seams to me this area needs to be a Community Thing, controled by all 108 home owners ---What are your ideas on How could this be Kept that way ?--geo.
 
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