The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 30, 2013

City to interview marina operator candidates

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Three potential marina operators have been selected to interview with members of the City Services Committee, including the city itself.  

In addition to the city, committee members decided they would like to hear from Matt Prescott, who currently operates the Candlelight Restaurant in the amenities building, and Doug’s Mobile Marina, out of LeClaire.  

The proposals vary wildly in price for marina operations because of the various items associated with the outfit. Under the city proposal, the cost for a full-time marina manager would range from little more than $54,000 a year to $71,000 a year.  Seasonal employees would cost an estimated $20,000 per year.

Prescott’s proposal calls for a $120,000 annual cost for the city in order to be properly staffed and pay insurance.

The Doug’s Mobile Service proposal entails a $195,000 price tag for fixed services such as employee, insurance and promotion costs.  

The only cost directly laid out by the current contract with Skipper Buds is the management fee. That fee cost the city $51,000 last year. However, Skipper Buds also billed the city for a number of other items such as postage, maintenance and sanitation supplies. 

The city chose not to renew the five-year contract with Skipper Buds. Instead, city officials decided to seek proposals from operators that would also include managing the RV park on the riverfront.

“I think there’s a lot of money to be made there,” Committee member Charlie Mulholland said.

 Committee members agreed to pursue the city and Prescott’s proposals, with member John Rowland suggesting Doug’s should also be offered an interview.

“I just think it’s good business sense to talk to someone that’s actually been in the boating field,” Rowland said. “The other people actually do not have boating experience. I think we can learn from asking questions from the people that have been there. We may not agree that they be the best operator, but the other two do not have experience, none.”

The operators will have interviews next week at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on an undetermined date.