Mattapoisett to raise marine fees

Oct 5, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — The Mattapoisett Select Board decided to raise marine fees for users of the harbor at an Oct. 5 meeting after holding a public hearing on the subject.

The increases will raise the price of services like moorings, slips, and boat stickers in Mattapoisett Harbor.

“We’ve gotten to a point where we can’t afford to do these [service] increases without an increase in our fees,” said Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh, adding “we’re still below the average for fees in the area.”

Incremental fee increases were first introduced in 2017 when the Select Board saw the need to improve the range of services offered at the harbor. The plan was to have three increases, spaced out over about eight years, to ease harbor users into the change. The increase in question was the second such adjustment.

“We just want to make sure we’ve got the retained earnings to do what needs to be done,” said Select Board Member Jordan Collyer, explaining that the Harbormaster’s current budget — which is entirely funded by marine fees — does not allow for much if any money to be saved for projects that will need to be done down the line. “So this is just the next installment”

Overall, the increases will raise marine fees by about 20%, though some fees, such as small boat stickers, will not increase. Other fees will increase by slightly more than 20% so they remain round numbers.

Members of the public voiced concerns about the Harbormaster’s budget growing significantly in recent years but most were allayed by explanations from McIntosh and members of the Select Board who pointed out that services have also increased over that time.

“In 2015 we were grossly deficient in what we offered,” said Collyer.

Collyer also sought to soothe concerns by requesting that the Harbormaster’s office refresh its long term plans and goals to give the town a better understanding of potential future budget issues.

The Select Board finished the session and approved the fee hikes. A full breakdown of the new fees is available on the town website here.