The San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Harbor Commissioners met Wednesday to define the payment of Passenger Service Fees, discuss hosting events at county harbors and approve a Capital Improvement Program for Oyster Point Marina.
The board met with Commissioner Sally Campbell absent.
Tom Mattusch, captain of the Half Moon Bay Huli Cat Sport and Fishing Charter Boat, addressed the board regarding his request to pay Passenger Service Fees on an annual basis rather than monthly.
“Cash flow is extremely difficult in this business,” he said. “The payment history will show I pay once a year.”
Mattusch said he was only requesting to formally validate a payment method he has used many times in the past.
“All I’ve been trying to do is legitimize what I’ve been doing for years,” he said. Mattusch said that the idea of any fiscal impact this will take on the Harbor District is “ludicrous.”
Passenger Service Fees are based upon actual passengers who have taken trips on a vessel, and Mattusch noted that his are much higher than the average boat at Pill Point.
Harbor District General Manager Peter Grenell said though allowing one request to pay annually may not take a large toll on the finances for the harbor, more people will likely ask for the same request.
“It’s quite possible, and I would say it’s likely, most anyone else is going to ask for the same consideration,” Grenell said. “Then the amount of money that you’re not going to be making is going to increase considerably.”
Grenell also mentioned that although Mattusch’s annual payment of Passenger Service Fees has gone unnoticed, Mattusch is still not complying with his permit.
“There’s no reason to make an exception in this case,” Grenell said.
The commissioners unanimously approved to deny Mattusch the ability to pay Passenger Service Fees on an annual basis.
The commissioners began a discussion of using Oyster Point Marina and Pillar Point Harbor as venues for public events.
More than 50 events have taken place in the harbors in the last two years. Most took place at Pillar Point, ranging from weddings to surf contests.
Grenell suggested that the Harbor District should adopt a policy of such events citing environmental impacts and public safety concerns among the issues that should be addressed.
“Some experiences have been very special and some experiences have been very stressful,” said Harbor Commission President Pietro Parravano.
The Harbor District received $21,155 last year from special events, but the majority of the revenue originated from the .
The board was presented with 11 questions that would function as guidelines for the new policy.
Grenell commented that the Harbor District should evaluate of how they are different from parks and recreation policies and if a district policy or community policy should be adopted.
“We’re going to start crafting the bones of policy,” Grenell said.
No action was taken.
The board unanimously approved the implementation of a five-year Capital Improvement Program to increase berthing occupancy and revenue at Oyster Point Marina.
“We make reference to the potential as it may be for promoting and there by attracting new customs to the American Cup events,” Grenell said.
The funds would be given to the Harbor District from South San Francisco after approval of the city manager and the city council.
“It would be crazy not to support it,” said Commissioner Leo Paderdii.
Harbor Master Robert Johnson proposed the authorization of workers’ compensation coverage for the Pillar Point Harbor Waste Oil Tank Removal Project.
Johnson described the failure to provide workers’ compensation as a lapse.
“It was an oversight in developing the contract documents that any time you work over the water you need United States Longshore and Harborworkers’ workers’ compensation coverage,” Johnson said.
The board unanimously approved the cost to cover workers’ compensation not to exceed $3, 114.
The next scheduled Harbor Commissioners meeting will be held August 4 at the Comfort Inn in Half Moon Bay.