$3 parking fee to be added at Everett boat launch
The fee will be in addition to the $5 launch price.
The parking fee will also apply to people who don't use the launch and just want to visit the marine park or to hop onto the popular ferry to Jetty Island.
The parking fee will be applied between May 1 and Sept. 30 each year to pay for the area's maintenance and operation, said John Mohr, executive director of the port.
He noted that during the last two years, the port has spent $600,000 to redo the rocks that check erosion and make other park improvements. It will spend $600,000 this winter to dredge the area of sediment pouring in from the nearby Snohomish River, which saw several floods in recent years.
“This has all got to be paid for, and that's what we're doing,” Mohr said Tuesday.
Mohr's comments came during a Tuesday meeting of the port commission in which several fishermen complained about the upcoming fee hike.
“We can hardly afford to go fishing as it is,” said Ted Measor. “Everywhere we turn, somebody wants money.”
Mohr said the port spends about $216,000 a year on the boat launch and collects about $115,000 with the $5 launching fee. As part of the change, the port has installed new machines that will take credit cards. It will also sell a $75 seasonal parking pass for frequent users. And it will continue to sell a $150 launch pass that does not include parking.
Peter Hatch told the commissioners that he's a retired sports fisherman who sees fees everywhere he turns. “Where does it stop?” he asked. “When does the little guy stop bearing the burden we're bearing? We won't be able to go anywhere.”
Measor said he understood that maintaining the launch cost money. “But we keep seeing our costs go up and up and up and this is the worst time for that.”
Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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