Share your thoughts about Marina/Beach Park improvements at 2 meetings

Have you ever wondered how the City of Des Moines is able to make improvements to the Marina and Beach Park facilities and provide services for public use in a tough economic environment?

“For the short term, the City has met this challenge by reducing staffing levels, deferring operating and maintenance resources, improving efficiencies and by increasing user fees,” reads an announcement. “With the growing use of the facilities, a long term solution is needed to continue and sustain waterfront operations.”

So what do YOU think? The City wants to hear from you – please attend one of the following information sharing and comment sessions and share your thoughts:

  • Thursday, Jan. 16, 6:00pm – 7:00pm: Des Moines City Hall Council Chambers, 21630 11th Ave. S.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 28, 11:30am – Noon: Des Moines Senior Activity Center, 2045 S. 216th St.

Here’s more info:

The Des Moines Beach Park’s historic Auditorium has been rehabilitated with the help of state capital funds and is now a thriving rental venue to events of up to 500 attendees. Rental fees are charged to the users to cover the direct and overhead costs of the use. The historic Dining Hall will be rehabilitated this year also with the help of state capital funding and will be available for event rentals of up to 200 attendees. Rental fees are now being implemented for the use all waterfront venues.

Numerous free and low cost activities will continue in the Beach Park such as beachcombing, picnicking, summer concerts, outdoor movies, community events and water sports. The park provides access to the Des Moines Creek Trail making it your family friendly place to go for gatherings of all types.

The Marina’s newly completed bulkhead, promenade and parking lot improvements are enjoyed by thousands of users on a daily basis. Boaters, fishermen, walkers, cyclists and Farmers Market shoppers as well as their vehicles all converge at the Marina as the community meeting place.

The Marina has businesses and tenants that generate revenues that pay their way. The many waterfront recreational activities and special events are very important because they create a tourism destination and provide enjoyment to our citizens and visitors. These uses are not helping to cover the cost to maintain and improve these facilities. The long term solution to the preservation of the Marina and Beach Park is to create a revenue stream that will fund the improvements and services our citizens have told us are important:

  • Safety and security improvements to reduce vandalism and illegal behaviors occurring in the facilities
  • Renovation of the aging Beach Park and Marina facilities to include: restrooms, bulkheads, walkways, beach access, historic building repairs and play area
  • Support for community special events

This spring, the city is considering implementing a paid parking and parking permit system for Marina and Beach Park parking lots. Pay stations would be placed conveniently in the Marina’s south, central and north parking lots and in the front and back Beach Park lots. A fee schedule would be designed to accommodate the needs of the various users of the facilities.

For more information call the Des Moines Marina at 206-824-5700.


7 Responses to “Share your thoughts about Marina/Beach Park improvements at 2 meetings”
  1. Dan Kennedy says:

    What the city propagandists are not telling you is:

    The City of Des Moines spent MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on the Beach Park buildings in order to get the state funding. The state did not fix up those old sheds alone, only providing some matching funds AFTER the city committed the cash. The City Council spent all of this money IN LIEU OF providing the proper amount of police officers needed to combat Des Moines’ decade-long crime wave (Violent Crime UP 18% and Property Crime UP 27%- Uncontestable FBI Statistics). OUT-RAGE-OUS budgeting.

    Don’t take it from me. All of this is verifiable by looking at the City’s budgets and the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). It is all right there for you. Ask City Manager Tony Piasecki for this information. He helped engineer this problem and bears some responsibility as well. His email address is: [email protected]

    Des Moines City Councilmembers (like Musser and Sheckler) who voted for renovating the Beach Park buildings without first addressing our crime problems must be held accountable for this malfeasance. They opted for creating monuments with their names on the brass commemoration plaques over keeping us safe. New Councilmembers (Pennington and Nutting) should be put on notice that to continue funding feel-good projects like the NON-essential Beach Park building renovation, without first providing ESSENTIAL services like crime-reducing police officers, will likely reduce their tenure in office.

    Fix the crime wave and the budget first, THEN work on those old sheds. Priorities people!

    • Bob Sheckler says:

      The vast majority of funds spent to repair buildings in the beach park could not have been used for general governmental purposes, such as police, road repair, park maintenance, court/jail services etc. Most of the funds were either grant funds from the state and federal government that could only be used on specific construction projects in the park, Real Estate Excise Taxes that must be used for capital projects, and Surface Water Management (SWM) funds that must be used to manage storm water and flooding. Approximately $100,000 of general purpose tax funds were used on two projects in the park : replacement of the Auditorium roof, and a minor remodel of the Founders Lodge.
      Please feel free to contact Tony on this, But I’m sure you will get the same answer.
      Isn’t it nice to have the correct information?

    • Mary says:

      There is a definite crime waive. I live in Des Moines and have had car break ins, drug deals and car theft go in an area this did not used to happen.

  2. Dan Kennedy says:

    I would recommend that the citizens actually go out and try to verify the veracity Councilman Sheckler’s statements for themselves. I stand behind my statements.

    He is after all, one of the political culprits and wants to now distance himself from his poor budgeting decisions.

    The key question is: “How much did the city pay to renovate the sheds, before they received the ‘matching funds’ from the State?” Then ask, just how many crime-reducing police officers could we have re-hired with that money?

  3. Dan Kennedy says:

    Just so everyone knows, your City Council, chose Beach Park monuments over public safety last Thursday night.

    This, despite them also adopting an updated mission and vision for the city of Des Moines, which supposedly put public safety at the top of their priorities.

    Cognitive dissonance or Lip Service of the part of your City Council? Either way, they are NOT serious about our safety. Indeed, there is no plan to reduce the crime wave here, nor any sense of urgency to force Chief Delgado to fix the problem. Instead— Ostriches heads in the sand. If they don’t acknowledge the problem, they won’t have to deal with it.

    H.L. Mencken once said: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
    Enjoy the City Council you elected.

    • Dave Kaplan says:

      “Mr. Kennedy”, you’re free to express your opinion, but not to make up facts.

      FACT … the approval last Thursday was to accept a grant by the state for rehabilitation of the Dining Hall in Des Moines Beach Park. Those funds can only be used for capital improvements related to historical buildings, and cannot be used to pay for operating costs.

      FACT … the local funds that the City had to put up to match against the state grant come mostly from Real Estate Excise Taxes (REET.) Those funds can be used for capital improvements, not operating expenses.

      FACT … other than a portion of the staff’s time, there is little to no City General Fund monies that are being spent on that project, and those would come out of the Parks & Recreation budget, not public safety.

      Contrary to what you put out, we are concerned with public safety. To add additional officers requires more money. Barring closing down entire departments (some we’re required to have under state law), there isn’t any money tree for us to gather funds from. We have to ask the taxpayers. Are you willing to help support a proposal on the ballot to fund these additional positions? Given how much time you spout off about the need, I would think you would. Or perhaps you have suggestions on what to cut? Remember, under state law, certain funding sources can only be spent in limited ways.

      I’m anxious to see your suggestions

      Dave Kaplan
      Mayor & Councilmember
      City of Des Moines, WA

  4. Dan Kennedy says:

    Oh, I get all tingly when Mayor Dave Kaplan does his little “Fact” schpeel (shivers)…
    While you are entitled to obfuscate what your City Council did regarding the past several years of voting on the police budget, and how shabbily you and Boss Sheckler have treated the safety and security of the citizens of Des Moines, your “Facts” have different meanings than their plain language.

    FACT 1 Rebuttal: In order to receive the State grant, the City of Des Moines (of which you are the Mayor) was required to provide matching taxpayer funds ($850k) that should have been spent elsewhere. This is the questionable part Mayor, and you are OMITTING key facts to suit your narrative and CYA.

    FACT 2 Rebuttal: “Mostly…from REET?” So you are saying it IS true that the city spent tax money on the Beach Park Sheds that you COULD have spent on reducing the high crime rate in the city of Des Moines? Does this not call into question the City Council’s priorities, in particular, between your hypothetically placing “Public Safety at the top of our values list” and in practice, putting “Park$/Partie$/Parade$” at the top of your budget list? Police notwithstanding, what about the roads around here that could have better benefitted from REET? Roads fall into the essential-services of government category too, unlike Beach park sheds, and have a better chance of actually improving economic development here.

    FACT 3 Rebuttal: A budget is a manifestation of priorities. WHERE you put your money, shows what your priorities really are. Theoretically, the City’s priorities stem from the City Council’s Mission and Vision statement (conveniently posted online here: ). If the City Council puts its highest emphasis on Public Safety (and rightly so BTW), it ALSO needs to allocate its scarce resources there, first and foremost, funding the non-essential things later.

    The Des Moines City Council ate its dessert before it ate its veggies with this Beach Park-thing. You failed to provide adequate funding for the DMPD, thereby putting citizens and officers lives in jeopardy, and obviously allocated TOO MUCH budget to Parks & Recreation who will now apparently fund the non-essential Beach Park shanties renovation. But if it makes you feel good (and you get a plaque on the building with your names on it), do it, right?

    Mayor Kaplan, you act like this is an either/or proposition. Either dramatically and hysterically close down complete city departments in order to fund the DMPD, or nothing. But we both know it is just a matter of moving money from one line on the budget to another for the most part. Simple accounting.

    Not following the Mission/Vision statement of the council, City Manager Piasecki assembled and presented the recent budget to the Council in a manner that suited him and his anti-police (pro-crime?) predilections, and you all bought it hook/line/sinker knowing full well we have a first-order crime problem here in Des Moines. You SAY you care about public safety, now put our money where your mouth is. Please.

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!