A better question is ''should there be moorings?'' In popular areas where anchoring is difficult (depth, bottom) or space limited, moorings are probably inevitable. But when they aren''t needed, IMO they usually detract from the experience one otherwise has in anchoring his/her own vessel.
But IF a mooring field is in place, does anyone think they *can* be free given that someone must also service and occasionally refurbish the field? Better to pay a small daily amount, provided it is used to service the moorings.
OTOH...to supplement the operation of marina docks? Good grief, how is that justified?
I also live in Milwaukee, but have my boat at one of the slips--I''m also getting somewhat screwed. There is a potential legal problem with the $300 fee since a few years back they charged everyone a one time fee of $25. Apparently my neighbor is (or has) filed a suit against the County from what I''ve heard.
I''m getting somewhat screwed since there currently (at the non-floating docks) is a private picnic area with picnic benches and places to keep your grill. This private picnic area will be no longer private when the floating docks come in (next year for the center section and the following year for the south section). They are opening this area to the public and there will be gates at each individual dock. They will be floating docks which is great, but I''ll really miss the private picnic area which we used quite a bit.
If the county does get away with charging the $300 fee each year, the moorings will be alot less attractive since you already have to maintain your mooring, and pay to store a dingy somewhere (or pay for the MYC service if you are a member). I have heard that some of the mooring off of the center section may be lost next year if the center section docks are extended out. There is a meeting June 19th at 6pm where the plans for the center section will be unvailed. I would guess that eventually the mooring may go away and be replaced by star docks like in Chicago--if there is demand. I don''t think there is enough demand in Milwaukee though, since McKinley always seems to have some available slips.
Yes. If the owner is purchasing the hardware and assuming all maintenance chores and not getting anything in return in the way of amenities....
If the mooring is maintained by McKinley and they provide bathroom access, dinghy lauching, parking then it would be worth it. I''ll sell them my mooring and rent in a minute. I don''t think they will assume the legal responsibility in purchasing the mooring hardware and maintaining it. They just want the money.
How ever Milwaukee County want to provide no of the service, assume zero responsibility but yet extract $300 dollars from people and deny them rights that were granted in the Wisconsin State Constitution. It states that no municipality can issue recurring fees form mooring in "public navigable waterways" and under this definition McKinley marina waters fall in this category and falls under the Wisconsin DNR juristiction. Even though they were formally under the Milwaukee harbor commision juristicition previously.
These laws were put into place years ago to protect commerce and the historical maritime life of Milwaukee. Unfortunately the county has lost the maritime tradition and seeks to create another rich people''s floating lake cabin marina.
Thanks Jack for you comments. Milwaukee County maintains nothing for the moorings. It was decided to enhance the Marina because of fluctuating water levels were causing slip renters to complain about the height of the docks and related problems. Floating docks were installed,at a considerable cost and slip rental prices went up. Not wanting to raise the slip rental fee any higher (now).. a study, by a independent group, determined that one possiblity,to raise revenue,was to charge for moorings..the county jumped on that. We, sailors on moorings, have challenged the legality and the process by which they, the County , brought this about. They don''t have our money yet!
Thanks for your comments: The mooring owners have organized and are seeking legal means to stop this seizure of Federal water moorings. Yes, I winter store at Mckinley @$250 and I purchase a season launch permit @ $44 even though I bring in my dingy in the back of my pick up and carry it down to the water. I purchase food at the Marina, on occassion, and fuel. Tourist enjoy seeing Our boats moored out in the open and all the activities that go along with sailing.
How can they do that? In Waukegan, Illinois the slips are free which include electricity, water, cable hook-ups and telephone. Beer is free only on the week ends. Winter storage and a spring time bottom paint job is free as well.
Why should moorings be free?
What planet are you from and where do you normally park your space ship during sailing season?
I think you are missing the point (and I am in Milwaukee, paying for a slip--not interested in a mooring at this point). The moorings were installed by the owners, they are maintained by the owners, and the owners provide their own transportation to the moorings. Most of the mooring owners also at one point paid a $25 fee to the county (or some other governmental agency in the state) and there is a state law that says that this was a one time fee--the county (or whatever agency charged it) was just plain stupid when they did this!!! The only thing provided for is the breakwater, which needed to be there for the docks anyway. I know this mooring deal sounds almost too good to be true, but if the county is going to charge a fee, I think they should take over the moorings, maintain them etc etc etc. The plain truth is they made a stupid move when they charged the one time fee of $25. Moorings are almost always available for sale. So Denr, if you think this is such a good deal come up and buy one. From what I hear now though, when new buyers register their mooring they are not being charged the $25 fee. Probably what will happen is the owners that originally paid will be off the hook for further fees, but the new owners that did not pay will have to pay. I don''t know anyone that has paid yet. Sometimes there really are good deals in life!
I''m intrigued. I just paid my annual $200 fee to my town for a mooring in a harbor with a federal channel. My club maintains all the moorings, provides launch service, fuel, ice, water, and pumpout. The town has a water hose at their own dock, but provides no other services. Perhaps Connecticut''s Constitution is different, but here, if you want to park at the beach, you buy a beach sticker.
On the other hand, it could also be argued that boat owners obviously have more money than they know what to do with, and are a substantial minority of the population. Politicians aren''t all stupid. Almost any one of them can easily identify targets for revenue when the need arises.
We have a similar situation in Annapolis, where I moor my boat of one of the local three creeks under the city''s jurisdiction. The city charges an annual $300 fee to moor a boat, and the boat owner has to supply all the mooring hardware. And the city also decides how many moorings there will be and where they are located. As you might imagine, in such a popular sailing area, the waiting lists for moorings are quite long. But, given that a slip for my 30-foot Morgan would cost roughly $2400 a year, the mooring seems like a bargain.
Other neighborhoods near Annapolis with waterfront have enacted similar regulations that limit moorings to people who live in the communities; they too charge for the privilege of owning a boat.
No one said this was ever going to be a cheap hobby.