Avalon, NJ Residents Outraged Over Another Price Hike
As we prepare to enter the New Year, one South Jersey town has decided that giving a Price Hike for the holidays is a good idea. This decision will impact both Commercial Fish Vessel and Personal Boat Owners negatively.
At the most recent Avalon City Council Meeting, they approved two resolutions that impact both Marinas on the South Jersey Coastal Community. The resolutions, which were passed unanimously, institute a 25 percent price increase at each marina along with changes to the municipality's rights to deal with any boats that may be a threat or danger to other boats or the Avalon Marina Properties. The borough of Avalon has also made changes to the process for boat owners to apply for slips to use the marina.
During the public comment session of the Avalon City Council meeting, owners of commercial fishing boats expressed frustration with the price increase for the boat slips to use the marina. For some boat owners, the increase will require them to pay around $2,000 more per year to the Cape May County Shore Town.
One boat owner, Jim Lutz, asked the City Council to consider allowing commercial boat owners to make payments instead of paying the total amount upfront due to the increase. Lutz pointed out that he pays taxes as an Avalon resident quarterly and allowing commercial boat owners to do the same would offset costs considering they have not made a business profit yet at the beginning of the year. None of the Avalon City Council Members or members of the government in attendance made any comment or acknowledgment of Lutz's concerns.
Multiple Avalon residents have raised concerns about the perceived lack of interest by the City Council in taking into consideration how these new regulations would impact the boat owners. Avalon Borough Government officials passively acknowledged taxpayer worries about the process of boat slip applications and they claim that the price increase is to subsidize the infrastructure improvements that need to be made to the marinas.
Avalon Sport Fishing Center Entrance is located on Ocean Drive between 14th and 15th Streets. At this boat docking area is also the popular Moran's Dockside which sells breakfast and deli sandwiches along with bait and tackle plus kayak rentals.
The Bayfront Marina in Avalon has its entrance located at the corner of 53rd Street and Ocean Drive. This is a larger parking area than the marina area on the northern area of the island and offers more areas for boats to dock than the Avalon Fishing Center.
The Borough of Avalon saw a 14 percent increase in Median Property Values from 2022 to 2023 and the Jersey Shore community is one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States. Yet it seems very presumptuous for the Avalon City Government to increase the costs of using the marinas to fund necessary infrastructure without considering if there is another way to fund it. Forcing people to spend thousands of more dollars while not considering how this impacts commercial boat owners and Avalon residents comes off as callous or indifferent.
But considering that Avalon is also a South Jersey town with residents arguing about Bakeries and Cream Filled Donuts, I guess nothing should surprise me anymore.
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