Thursday, November 18, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I'd like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and I even have a gift to kick off the festivities. We will once again be holding moorage rates to their current level. This will make it a tight stretch for the marina, but we realize that many of you are in the same boat, so to speak. The only increase will be a 2% raise on locker fees, which will amount to an additional $3.50 per month.
At some point in the future, we will have to increase our rates to keep up with expenses. I recently did a financial analysis and determined that for each dollar that is paid to the marina, we only get to keep twelve cents. This is definitely making it a challenge for us to fulfill our of goal of continually improving the marina.
Speaking of marina improvement, I have some good news. I recently ordered 6 new stacked washers/dryers for the laundry room. Within the next couple of weeks, we will be closing the laundry room to remodel and install these new units. In order to operate these additional machines, plumbing and and electrical work will be required. So, you can expect the laundry room to be closed for 1-2 weeks. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I think you will be happy with the improved facility.
Another item that has been occupying my time is the possibility of a snowy winter. With snow, one of my first concerns is the covered moorage docks. As you know, when the snow load increases on the roof, the dock freeboard starts to decrease. So, you may see the activation of our covered moorage snow plan this fall & winter. We have measured the current freeboard of all covered moorage docks. If the freeboard decreases by 4", we will ask the liveaboard tenants in covered moorage to move to open slips for their safety. After the liveaboards have been contacted, the remainder of covered moorage tenants will be notified. We will offer open slips to those tenants on a first come, first serve basis. If the freeboard further decreases by 5" and if it is safe to do so, we will attempt to remove some of the snow manually by sending an experienced employee onto the roof.
Our primary concern during inclement weather is the safety of our employees and our tenants. Our second priority is the protection of tenant and marina assets. Thus, there may be a time when we will need to cordon off sections of the marina for people's safety. This might include locking down entire gates. I don't see this happening, but it is always a possibility. Obviously, if the situation were to arise, our goal would be to get all Liveaboard vessels to an area in the marina where people have adequate access to their boat homes.
Please use extreme caution during snow and ice conditions. If at all possible, travel in pairs and limit your trips up and down the docks and ramps. Remind yourself where the safety ladders are on your dock should you accidentally slip into the water. Ice melt will be located in buckets by the ramps. We will also have extra snow shovels available to borrow if you need them. We will be as diligent as possible when it comes to snow and ice, but remember you are transiting the docks at your own risk.
If conditions merit, the water will be shut-off. When this happens, the fire department is notified of our condition. This requires that employees and security personnel keep a diligent eye out for fire issues. If there ever was a fire, the fire department has told us that they would be using their own equipment and would not use the hoses on the dock anyway. Please remember that you do have fire extinguishers available for your use as well. We do not shut-off the water to make it hard on our tenants. As a matter of fact, it takes a great deal of time to shut the water off and drain the lines. However, if we do not turn off the water, it results in multiple line breaks. This translates into the water being off for even a longer period of time. I am sorry if you are angered by this policy, but it gives the marina and the tenants the best outcome - no pipe replacement & quicker access to water when the temperatures go up. Predicting potential temperatures down on the waterfront is not an exact science and based on past experiences we would rather err on the side of caution.
When possible,we will run a hose from the main building down to the fuel dock for those who run out of water. It is best to always keep your water tanks as full as possible during the winter months just in case we have a cold snap.
I thank all of you for your cooperation and understanding. I'm sure in my place, you would come to similar conclusions. For those of you out there that feel you need to call the authorities to report our water status, please let me reiterate that this is already part of our process. You not only waste your time, but also our time that we could spend doing things on your behalf.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to respond. I will post all comments that are Rated G and are respectful.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Tracy McKendry, General Manager
Foss Harbor Marina