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Timing Impacts Ability of City to Expand its Marina Operations

Posted on November 30, 2020

Contact: Rich Killips, Interim City Manager
City of New Buffalo
(269) 469-1500

In September of this year, The William J Deputy Foundation approached
the City of New Buffalo with an offer to donate the Pleasure Isle Marina
to the City. As the owners of the private marina, this was a grand gesture
from the Deputy family to honor the memory of William Deputy.

As the particulars of the proposed transfer developed, it became evident
the legal and IRS taxation requirements of such a donation through the
Foundation would be require some long term commitments on behalf of
the City and its residents. These included a reduced purchase price to
the City of half a million dollars over 5 years and agreements to 75 years
of possession and 25 years of dedicated use of any revenue its created
to pre-determined areas in the marina district.

Unfortunately, the new City Council was formed on Nov 16th and only
had a week of time to understand the terms and conditions of the deal
and the long term impacts it would have to the residents and City
operations. This short window impacted the City’s ability to conduct the
necessary due diligence of not only inspecting the property and
gaining the necessary understanding of the impact of the proposed
transaction but also analyzing the City’s own capability of managing
a larger marina operation.

Unfortunately, due to the necessary deadline for the Deputy Foundation
to complete this transaction before the end of the year coupled with the
timing of several new council members taking their seats approximately
a week before a final decision had to be made, the Council was unable
to complete the necessary due diligence to ensure the long term value
of this transaction to its residents.

The City of New Buffalo would like to thank The William J Deputy
Foundation for its generous offer. It is with regret that time considerations
prevented this proposal from being explored further. The City of New
Buffalo looks forward to partnering with any organization who takes
ownership of the marina as our waterfront represents an important
source of recreational and economic activity for our community.

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