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Repair plan for Seattle marinas rile some boat owners

Rotting docks have boat owners in a big fight with city leaders. The marina tenants claim the repair plan goes overboard, and gives away too much to an outside company. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - Rotting docks have boat owners in a big fight with city leaders. The marina tenants claim the repair plan goes overboard, and gives away too much to an outside company.

Seattle maintains three marinas but their upkeep has been badly neglected. On Monday, city councilmembers will vote on a plan to privatize operations at Lakewood Marina, as well as Leschi North and South.

The contractor promises large-scale improvements but critics contend it will displace boat owners already there.

Instead of handing these marinas over to an outside company, tenants said they want to reinvest the moorage fees already being collected and handle repairs one slip at a time.

Randy Chase has a liveaboard at the Lakewood Marina. He loves the life and agrees the docks are rotting away, but thinks a city plan to lease the property out will hurt him and his neighbors.

“My friends on the other dock, they are going to lose their space totally,” Chase said. “It’s going to be transient moorage and pump out."

City parks officials want Marina Management LLC to take over operations and initiate repairs. The plan is make the site more accessible to the public. However, boat owners already at Lakewood say they many of them would be pushed out.

“The docks do need to be repaired over the course of time but it seems like a shame to eliminate all the opportunity for the smaller boaters and in some case the community that have been coming here for decades,” said Travis Boothe, who lives aboard his boat.

In the past, city leaders have said the sites are under-utilized. Lakewood boat owners said they are fine with public access, but don't want the quaint marina overrun. They believe repairs can be done with the moorage fees already being collected. They said the city has dismissed the idea.

“They haven't taken any of the recommendations,” said Paul Suver, who keeps two boats at Lakewood. “They've gone back to their original plan every time."

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