The Rye Marina (the DePauw Municipal Boat Basin) is operated by the Boat Basin Commission, which operates in a manner similar to a private enterprise. This is how the Rye Golf Club is also run. There is no funding from the City of Rye. Its future is in jeopardy.
The Boat Basin Commission recently sent a letter to the City Council explaining that significant repairs are now required as the result of deferred maintenance. These repairs are the proper responsibility of the boat owners who moor their vessels at the Marina. The fees charged by the Marina are adequate to make these repairs without municipal funding.
The Commission, however, has been saddled with 100% of the cost of dredging the channel. This is an expense that cannot be sustained by private funding alone. Debris from Blind Brook flows into the Basin, and the channel needs to be dredged on a regular basis in order to remain navigable. If the channel is not dredged, the buildup of debris will eventually worsen the potential for flooding in the Milton Harbor and Blind Brook areas. The Rye Marine Police are also moored at the Marina, and would be unable to respond to rescue calls.
It is past time for the City of Rye to formulate a long-term plan for the continued operation of the Marina and dredging the Basin and Milton Harbor channel. We are requesting that the City Council look at ways to:
- Improve the revenue of the Marina while remaining competitive with other Marinas in the area.
- Review the expenses of the Marina and find ways to reduce them.
- Find another source of funds for dredging without having to rely completely on the Boat Basin Enterprise Fund, which derives its funds solely from slip fees.
- Consider hiring a consultant on marina management to advise on fiscal management.
We are not asking the taxpayers to subsidize the cost to boat owners. We are asking the City to recognize that there is a possible flooding threat to homes in the area, which may emerge if the Harbor is not properly maintained, and that it is their responsibility to address it. We are also concerned that, if the Marina is forced to close operations, not only will Rye lose a major asset, but the City taxpayers will also have to foot the bill to clean up what would become a dilapidated eyesore with no outside revenue to help.
— Harvey Geller