By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON — Two years ago the financial struggles of Wayne County nearly threatened the parks department’s ability to continue a century-long administration of the Elizabeth Park Marina.
When new oversight was needed the answer stayed pretty close to home when Trenton city officials accepted oversight for day-to-day operations at the boat launch.
The pairing was natural, and according to Trenton Parks and Recreation Business Operations Manager Tim Beaker, successful.
“Everything worked out good so far,” Beaker said. “It’s been a good combination effort on both parties and ultimately it benefits both, and the users of the facility.”
Trenton officials approved in October 2011 the transfer of marina authority from the Wayne County Parks commission, which faced budget limitations for continuing to supervise the boat launch: County union contracts required that under Wayne authority the launch needed to be staffed full-time, which became cost prohibitive.
The marina, however, generates and estimated $125,000 to $140,000 annually which, if the operation is properly staffed, produces a modest profit.
Beaker said that a small profit was realized during the 2012 season — the first under city administration — and early signs indicate that 2013 will work as well if not better.
“Everything worked out for the city and county,” Beaker said. “We were able to turn a small profit which will definitely benefit the city as we move forward.”
Beaker said that other than the source of administration, it remains business as usual at the marina. A few tweaks and changes, he said, but the operation has been fairly consistent for many years.
“There’s not really a whole lot to change or fix,” Beaker said, “just upkeep and becoming a little more familiar with the facility as a whole.”
Beaker said about 20 seasonal permits remain available, although those won’t last as applications, launches and cokings are above the levels they were at this time last year. The marina opened on April 1 and will operate through Oct. 31.
For information contact Trenton Parks and Recreation at 734-675-7300 or the marina at 734-675-8051.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)