SOUTH HAVEN — If you want to dock your boat for the 2020 summer season at Black River Park, expect to pay more to do so.

For the first time since 2015, South Haven will be increasing seasonal rates for the 24- and 30-foot docks. City council did so on Tuesday after receiving a recommendation from the Harbor Commission.

“In the past two years, many projects have been completed at Black River Park such as the restroom renovation project, 5 new skid/launch piers, new fish cleaning station, and new landscaping,” Harbor Master and Assistant City Manager Kate Hosier explained in a memo to city council members. “There are more improvements needed at this facility and an increase in the slip fees will help fund those projects as well as any unforeseen repairs due to high water.”

Seasonal rates for 24-foot docks will increase in 2020 from $1,690 to $1,872 (a $182 hike), while 30-foot dock rates will go up from $1,910 to $2,250 (a $340 increase).

Transient docking fees are also expected to increase at the city's North and South Side marinas, the Michigan Maritime Museum marina and Black River Park marina. However, those rates first have to be set and approved through the Michigan Waterways Commission.

“The rates were to be considered at the August meeting of the Waterways Commission, however the meeting was cancelled,” Hosier explained. “It is anticipated that the rates will be changing.”

The harbor commission recommended the increase in transient slip fees for the same reason as it did for seasonal slips.

The city, Hosier noted, has steadily added amenities and services at those marinas, including upgraded electric facilities, free WiFi service and staff training.

In addition to increasing seasonal dock fees at Black River Park, council members approved a resolution requiring all seasonal slip renters at all of the city-owned marina to sign a new contract that stipulates rules they must follow. Seasonal boat owners must now make deposits by Oct. 15 and pay the balance by Jan. 15, rather than Nov. 15 and Feb. 15.

Other changes include electrical checkups and inspections to determine whether boats are leaking any amperage, the use of marine-grade electric cords and adaptors, and ensuring vessels are seaworthy and operational under their own power.