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Commercial launch fees jump 60 percent

December 04, 2008
Fontana — Businesses that launches boats from the village's municipal pier now have to pay the same rate as village residents.

On a 3-2 vote Monday, the Village Board agreed to increase commercial launch fees by 60 percent.

Trustees Micki O'Connell and Arvid "Pete" Petersen and Village President Ron Pollitt voted in favor of the increase and trustees George Spadoni and Patrick Kenny voted against it. Trustees Diane Lewis and Bill Turner were not at the meeting.

The commercial rates were originally created because commercial users don't use the village's municipal parking lot.

Commercial users and Fontana residents will now each pay $12.50 to launch boats from the village's municipal pier. The previous fee for commercial users was $7.80

Gordy's manager Rallee Whowell-Chupich asked the board to table the increase and send it back to the Lakefront and Harbor Committee. She said this would give the business an opportunity to express some of its concerns to the committee.

Spadoni said the increase is too much at once. He also said businesses weren't given notice about the discussion.

"To raise their rates, with no discounts for not parking, will drive up their cost of operation," Spadoni said. "I think we should engage the users more effectively."

Trustee Micki O'Connell, who chairs the Lakefront and Harbor Committee, supported the increase because it was unfair to have village residents pay for the majority of the fees.

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Lakefront and Harbor Commissioner Robert Chanson also defended the committees recommendation.

"It's hard to justify to residents that business can launch boats for three times less than a taxpaying resident," he said.

He said some of the business that utilized the launch aren't located within the village and don't pay taxes.

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