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Matanzas Inn to continue mooring field services

November 6, 2013
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A service provider agreement regarding upland services for municipal anchorage has been approved by Town officials at a reduced percentage rate beginning Dec. 1.

The Fort Myers Beach Town Council has agreed upon a contract to retain Matanzas Inn Resort to provide services for the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field within Matanzas Pass. Town officials authorized Town Manager Terry Stewart to sign a contract that will enable a more favorable split for the municipality. Matanzas Inn will now receive 65 percent of the net revenues, and the Town will maintain the balance of 35 percent.

Matanzas Inn has provided mooring field upland services since early November 2006. Its on-site facilities include dinghy dockage, laundry room, restrooms, showers, changing area, a restaurant, vending areas and front desk operations that provide information seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Matanzas Inn has been retained to provide upland services for the Town's mooring field. Services include dinghy dockage, laundry, bathrooms, changing areas and showers as well as vending areas and front desk operations for information.

The resort's prior 70/30 advantageous split in net revenue was due to the endurance of capital expenditure in respect to building showers and laundry facilities.

"As the contract began, there was initial upfront costs that endured to that provider that had reasonable expectation as to the cost being paid off, and therefore the amount of profit that the provider would be receiving would have increased a fair amount," said Stewart.

The contract length is for three years with an annual renewal option for two additional years. Matanzas Inn has allowed the Town to park its pump-out boat at its docks at no fee.

Town officials have been very happy with Matanzas Inn services and location within the downtown zoning district.

"This affords traveling boaters great convenience," said Town Public Works Director Cathie Lewis. "That kind of convenience is very beneficial."

The Town offers 70 mooring balls available to the public for vessels up to 48 feet in length for rental year-round. It allows boating guests to come ashore at a day-use dinghy dock placed at the 416 Crescent St. business and places them within walking distance of beaches, restaurant, shopping, nightlife and public transportation. Rental fees -$15 per day; $90.79 per week; $260 per month- include pump-out service and the use of the inn's amenities, such as dinghy dockage, laundry, bathrooms, changing areas and showers as well as vending areas and front desk operations for information.

Back in March, Council members discussed the public mooring field management, revenues and expenditures. It was noted then that the Town was losing roughly $85,000 per year on the mooring field overall.

Beach Mayor Alan Mandel stated the loss now to be roughly $45,000 and suggested inquiring about Lee County Tourist Development Council dollars to help with cost deficits.

"We are keeping the back waters clean by doing this (pump-out) service," he said.

Stewart said he would include that suggestion in his review for TDC allocations.

The mooring field deficit involves law enforcement costs that range from $50,000 to $63,000 annually as well as salaries, taxes, maintenance and capital costs on top.

The Town gets an annual West Coast Inland Navigation District grant of $54,120 for law enforcement, yet pays out $63,000 to that agency for wages and fuel.



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