Boaters will be able to dock for free this summer at city-owned slips at the east side of Skyway Marina, but the marina's store will be mothballed and the docks will be unsupervised, a top official in the Bell administration said yesterday.
"The plan at this point is that the docks will be open and accessible to the general public, as that is a mandate from our grant from the Ohio Department of National Resources," said Brad Peebles, the city's commissioner of economic development. "The gates will be unlocked between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and that prohibits us from having to staff the facility, which in the past three years has cost us in excess of $40,000 a year."
Toledo City Council in April voted to hire Brenner 75 Marine LLC for one year to manage the Skyway Marina on the city's east side and the boat docks along both sides of the Maumee River.
Mayor Mike Bell yesterday said the company declined the contract.
Keeping the docks open for the public is still a priority, he promised.
"We want to make it work, but we have to make sure it fits inside the budget," Mr. Bell said
Mr. Peebles said a Vermilion, Ohio-based Great Lakes museum has an interest in running the facility beginning next year.
"Brenner 75 was interested in operating the complex and there was direction from City Council that they lease it for $1," Mr. Peebles said. "They would keep any proceeds from management of the complex, but they did not believe the complex would generate enough money."
The facility has security cameras that monitor the parking lot and docks.
The $6.3 million Skyway Marina, which is part of the city's planned Marina District in East Toledo, has 77 docks, fuel pumps, showers, and a convenience store.
The marina, formerly known as the Glass City Municipal Marina, opened in June, 2008.
It shares its quarters with a marine passenger terminal developed by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
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