Mattapoisett mulls marine fee hike

Sep 14, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — Higher fees for moorings, slips, boat stickers and dinghy docks may be coming to Mattapoisett Harbor.

Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh addressed the town’s Select Board on Tuesday, Sept. 14 to discuss the possibility of raising marine fees.

“As a department, we are at the point where we are at the end of our revenue basically,” said McIntosh.

The Harbormaster’s proposal, which was supported unanimously by the Marine Advisory Board, would increase marine fees by about 20% across the board.

Despite the change, McIntosh said that the mooring and docking fees at the harbor would still be reasonable for the area.

“We’re actually below the average,” said Select Board Member Jordan Collyer. “There’s only one other town that would be lower than us.”

On top of its low price, Mattapoisett Harbor has several attributes that will continue to be a draw for boaters despite potential fee increases.

“Our harbor, in the last seven or eight years, has really been a growing, prospering harbor and I’d like to see it grow further,” said McIntosh, adding that the central location of the harbor within Buzzards Bay makes it particularly attractive.

The change would raise the department’s expected annual revenue to about $323,000 and enable it to retain about $35,000 - $50,000 a year to put towards future projects like infrastructure improvements at Long Wharf.

“The retained earnings becomes the issue because without the retained earnings we can’t use the money at Town Meeting to do the necessary projects for the upkeep,” said Collyer. “And if we’re not doing the upkeep then we’re not providing the services to the fee payers that they have come to expect and deserve.”

Though the Select Board seemed to voice its support for the fee increases, the board ultimately decided to hold a public hearing on the matter before making any final decisions. The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.