Harbor faces stormy future

It could soon cost more to berth a boat at the ailing Marina Yacht Harbor — but a new audit of the harbor’s finances shows signs of fiscal mismanagement.

Granted to San Francisco in 1935, the Marina Yacht Harbor’s east and west harbors contain room for nearly 700 boats, but sand, silt and deteriorated docks have made at least 50 berths unusable, according to harbor users.

“The harbor is in terrible repair,” said Dick Robinson, who has rented a slip at the marina since 1985. “Half of the gangways are functional, half arenot. Many of the pilings are rotten and gone.” Sand is leaking into some areas of the harbor, blocking five berths leased by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, according to its commodore, Marcus Young.

A recent audit of the marina, heard Monday before the Board of Supervisors’ Government Audit and Oversight Committee, found multiple instances in which money meant for the harbor fund — which comes from user fees and is used to pay for maintenance — instead went to the Recreation and Park Department’s funds.

In addition, berth users were double-charged for utilities and other expenses — a sum close to $622,000, according to Bruce Stone, president of the Marina Harbor Association. That money also went to Rec and Park.

“It should be returned to the harbor,” Stone said. “Harbor trust money is not The City’s money.”

Agencies have fallen so behind on dredging that some boats can only move at high tide, Robinson said. “We pay good money for slips that you can’t use half of the day.”

The money boat users pay could increase this summer, when the Recreation and Park Department is scheduled to approve a 4 percent boost in berthing fees, part of a larger fee schedule the Board of Supervisors approved in 2004 to boost slip rents at the marina by 55 percent by 2011.

Bright Wynn, who has leased a berth at the harbor for 35 years, opposed higher fees “because we’re not getting the services,” he said.

But others, such as Robinson, support the increase as long as they’re used to reverse the harbor’s deterioration.

“We were well below Bay Area market rate for these services,” said Recreation and Park spokeswoman Rose Dennis of the 2004 decision. “Rehabilitation of the harbor is one of the points of all this.”

Fees are scheduled to rise another 3 percent in 2009-10, and then 37 percent in 2010-11, according to a report from the Budget Analyst’s Office.

bwinegarner@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

The Stud, The City’s oldest gay bar which is vacating its longtime home at Ninth and Harrison streets after more than 50 years, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City’s nightlife recovery fund approved but struggling business owners fear relief may come too late

As San Francisco’s nightlife scene approaches nearly a year of a complete… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

Most Read