Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

District is over $580,000 in the red; deficit stems from depreciation, debt

The Crescent City Harbor District will hold a public hearing today on the final budget for fiscal year 2014andndash;2015, which shows the harbor operating more than $580,000 in the red.

Almost half of that negative amount ($260,000) is from depreciation, but that still leaves $320,281 worth of reasons to increase economic development for a port that recently took out a $5.4 million loan to cover its portion of a $54 million project to rebuild from tsunami destruction.

The budget shows the harbor with $928,670 in total income, with the majority, $553,000, coming from land-based tenants and $163,000 projected from tenants in the inner boat basin. But the district has yet to see how much money could be made from commercial fishermen renting slips during the Dungeness crab season because the harbor did not officially have ownership of the new docks for the entire crab season.Last year, $119,374 was made from slip rental in the inner boat basin.

The hearing will be part of the Board of Harbor Commissioners' regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. today in the Flynn Center, 981 H St.

The board will also consider an ordinance to raise the inner boat basin rental fee for live-aboard tenants due to the increased cost of maintaining showers, laundry and garbage collection for them.

Live-aboard tenants are a relatively new occurrence for the revamped harbor, according to Harbormaster/CEO‚ÄąCharlie Helms.

"It's a new harbor and we want to keep it looking new as long as we can, and when tenants are live-aboard they require extra services, and we want to keep up with that," Helms said.

In other ports where Helms has worked, he has seen problems where a 25-foot boat may be occupied by up to 10 people because it's one of the cheapest living options in town.

"We want to make sure that we are not against live-aboard, but we don't want to see an overloaded boat," Helms said.

Helms recommended that the board reinstate a fee for live-aboard tenants of $300 per month (in addition to base slip rental), something that was in place for previous harbor facilities.

The district will also discuss and consider audits of tenant records that will be performed on a sample size of tenant accounts to ascertain that correct poundage fees and percentage rent is being paid.

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