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Published: Saturday, 5/29/2004

Port Clinton to offer daily dock rentals

PORT CLINTON - After years of talk, transient dockage is about to become a reality along the Port Clinton waterfront.

City Council approved an agreement this week to lease 70 boat slips for daily rental from Coastal Marine II, a marina on the Portage River about a half-mile from the downtown.

Company and city officials said the deal with help both sides. Coastal Marine will fill dock spaces that otherwise might be empty, and the city gets a place for boaters to dock and come ashore, where they'll hopefully spend money at local shops and restaurants.

Shuttle buses will carry boaters from the marina to downtown and back again.

Mayor Tom Brown said the agreement signals tangible progress on an issue that's been discussed since 1990, when he was council president.

"This is what we've wanted for 14 years," he said." We're now finally putting the word 'Port' with Clinton. We have another transportation opportunity for people to come to Port Clinton. We miss so many people .●.●. because they're no places for them to stay. Now there's someplace for them to stay."

Bill Van Der Giessen, an investor and manager of the marina, said the city is leasing the 70 boat slips at a cost of $850.50 each for the season. The marina will collect rent from boat owners, who will pay $1.50 per foot of dockage.

Once collections reach the total lease amount - $59,535 - the marina and city will split additional rental revenue 70/30, respectively. If collections fall below the lease amount, it will forgive the city the difference, Mr. Van Der Giessen said.

"In effect, we're taking 100 percent of the risk," he said.

The city, as part of the deal, agreed to spend $10,000 toward promoting the venture.

"Nobody knows about us yet, but they will," Mr. Van Der Giessen said. "I've been singing the song about the need for a public marina to make use of our best natural resource for 35 years. .●.●. It's about time."

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