Miami parking price hike held hostage for marinas rate raise
Written by John Charles Robbins on October 16, 2018
Commissioner Joe Carollo is holding up a final vote to raise parking rates until he’s assured Miami will hike fees at city marinas too.
For the second time this fall, commissioners deferred a vote Oct. 11 on raising parking rates, to Oct. 25. Mr. Carollo pushed for the delay as he pressured the administration to raise dockage fees at city-run Dinner Key Marina and Miamarina at Bayside.
Mr. Carollo cited rate differences at private vs. city marinas. He said private marinas are charging about 50% more for wet slip rentals than city-run marinas, and some have 60% higher rates for larger boats.
Commissioner Manolo Reyes agreed. “We are not receiving what we should be receiving,” he said.
Mr. Carollo has indicated he’ll vote for higher parking rates after he’s satisfied something is being done to get more money out of city-run marinas. “If you want my vote, I want to see increased rates at the marinas,” he said.
Mr. Carollo basically gave the city manager’s office an ultimatum: raise rates at the two city marinas or request proposals for private companies to take over.
Daniel Rotenberg, head of the Department of Real Estate and Asset Management, said privatization could see the city hire a management company to run the marinas for about 3% or 4% of profits, with the city getting about 97%.
“I don’t care … as long as we get top dollar,” Mr. Carollo said. This has become part of his narrative since he took office last year, preaching that the city must do all it can to bring in new revenue in the face of growing costs and unknown financial anchors like labor contracts and lawsuit judgments.
On Sept. 13, commissioners demanded that city residents not face the higher parking rates, and the proposal was amended.
For most on-street parking, the rate would rise from $1.75 an hour to $3. Many monthly permits would jump from $70 to $90. If approved, new rates begin Jan. 1.