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From the 10/5 AC Press:

Boat-ramp profits dip for LBI towns
By BERNARD VAUGHAN Staff Writer, (609) 978-2012
Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Boat-ramp fees and slip-rental revenues dropped this summer at most municipally owned docks on the island, convincing at least one municipality to raise its fees for 2006.

Revenues from boat-ramp fees at Barnegat Light's dock at Bayview Avenue and West 10th Street dropped about 8 percent this year, from $26,054 in 2004 to $24,375. In slip-rental revenues, the borough collected $102,000 last year; so far this year the borough has collected $52,000 and expects to collect another $50,000, according to Borough Chief Financial Officer Lisa Jones.

This is the third straight year that boat-ramp revenues have declined in the borough and the worst year there in recent memory, Borough Councilman Dave Bossi said.

In 2002, for example, the borough collected $29,700 in boat-ramp fees.

"We had a bad start to the season (due to bad weather), then summer kicked in and gas prices went up," Bossi said. "Then the money went down by the month."

To compensate, the borough will increase its seasonal boat-ramp fees in 2006 from $75 to $80, and its daily fees from $11 to $12, Bossi said.

Bill and Ann Hratko said the minor increases wouldn't prevent them from taking their 40-year old, 15-foot Crownline fishing boat out a couple times a month. On Monday, they took their grandchildren, Sarah, 7, and John Keller, 10, out for a fishing trip.

"It's not the fees - it's the gas that's bothering us," said Ann Hratko. The Hratkos live in North Brunswick, Middlesex County, and own a home in Barnegat Light.

Bill Hratko said they pay $20 for a tank of gas for the boat. Last year, he said, they paid about $10.

Other municipalities experienced similar declines.

Beach Haven's boat ramp revenues dipped from $43,320 in 2004 to $41,590 in 2005.

Slip rentals for Beach Haven's 13 Dock Road slips also dropped, from $9,320 in 2004, to $8,250 in 2005.

Renters bid on the slips each year, and the borough has discussed raising the minimum bid of $550, said Chief Financial Officer Diane Marshall. Borough Administrator Rich Crane said they did not anticipate changing the boat-ramp fees for 2006.

Surf City's boat ramp at the end of Division Street dipped a sliver, from $7,520 in 2004 to $7,450 in 2005.

Surf City does not own slips. Long Beach Township and Harvey Cedars do not own any slips or boat ramps.

Only Ship Bottom went against the trend. Fees for that town's boat ramp, 10th Street and Shore Avenue, increased nearly $3,000, from $32,100 in 2004 to $34,890 in 2005.

To e-mail Bernard Vaughan at The Press:

[email protected]
 

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this will self perpetuate. higher prices will make fewer go so they raise the prices again so even fewer will go...so on and so on till only one guy goes per year and pays $43,000 per launch once a year. We have a similar thing here at work at the cafe. The lunch prices go up so more people pack their lunch causing the cafe to raise the prices to make ends meet causing even more people to carry in lunch making the cafe raise prices again....so on and so on. Till they shut down. It eats at itself.
 

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Government is so foolish. They never have a sale or special events like businesses do. If they would lower prices and/or provide more service they might make more money.
 

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If they do that they will realize we will always expect that of them(work) so why bother. Besides if you work for the city you probably get to launch for free. Maybe they need to see who's taking count of the cookie jar. That much cash for someone only making that much a year is probablt tempting. 1 for you 1 for me whos counting. ;)
 

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Talk to the realtors, bars, gas stations, convenience stores - LBI rentals were down again in 2005.

Rates continue to go up on weekly and monthly rentals on LBI, despite the slight economic trend downwards and realtors' advice to their customers to stem that annual increase in rates.

The folks spending top dollar on pricey rentals are not necessarily boaters and anglers. Talk to folks who USED to come TO the island to boat and fish...those family types have been forced elsewhere, OR, are now coming down in the shoulder season.

The lights are blinking, bass are biting, and marinas offering shoulder season specials, with no launch fees. Boats are staying in longer, hence another reason launch fees are down.

Just a casual observation on my hometown (all 18 miles of it!)
 
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