Higher slip fee raises ire with marina patrons

Board debates value of increase, ongoing maintenance at marina


Gordon Woods


CLINTON — Boaters who rent slips at the Clinton Lake marina expressed their dissatisfaction recently with a plan to raise rental fees by 10 percent.

Slip renters who attended the Jan. 20 DeWitt County board meeting said they felt the marina did not offer sufficient amenities to justify the rental increase.  Some also decried what they felt was slow progress by the county to address maintenance needs at the marina.

Marina committee chairman Dan Matthews pointed out the county had not increased slip fees since 2015.  He said the county’s fee structure seemed fair in comparison to other marinas.

Boat owners at the meeting said other marinas offered more in exchange for increased fees.

Visitors at the meeting were permitted to address the board about the issue, but later, board chairman Terry Ferguson had to interrupt at least twice to admonish visitors not to comment during the board discussion period.

Some board members felt the additional revenue the increase would generate did not seem enough to be worth an increase in the slip fee rate. 

During its Sept. 2021 meeting, the board was split on how to approach the future of the marina.  Some board members favored investing in marina upgrades to enhance its ability to generate revenue; others preferred focusing on reducing marina losses.

During that meeting, Jay Wickenhauser suggested the county’s agreement with Joe Caldwell for marina management be allowed to expire.  He felt the county should accept bids from other management firms and negotiate for better terms.

Other board members favored extending Caldwell’s contract for two years, while the county invested in upgrades to the marina.

Matthews favored upgrades, saying the work could be accomplished over the next two years.

       • See the complete story in the Friday, Feb. 4, print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.