VIDEO: Fort Myers set to privatize city marina

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Nine companies expressed an interest in managing the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin downtown, which means the city-owned marina could become a private business.

The city council was set to vote this week on whether to take the next step in privatization, according to an NBC affiliate.

The council will request proposals and qualifications from interested companies.

The problem for the city is money. The marina has been operating in the red by about $370,000 this year, according to the marina's manager, most of which is attributable to a loan payment that was floated for repairs.

Although privatizing the yacht basin probably would include improvements and save the city money, many who use the basin are concerned that the rates will go up.

"They might make it look fancy and add some amenities, but I don't feel that the basic service of being able to keep a boat here and feel happy and comfortable and welcome — I don't think that's going to be the case anymore," yacht basin customer Debbie Lazar told the network.

The manager said the marina historically made a profit of about $200,000 a year and that the money was put into the city's general fund. He believes that if the money had been designated for maintenance and improvement of the marina, it would still be operating in the black.

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