With an eye toward helping area commercial watermen, the Cape Charles Town Council on Thursday night unanimously passed a harbor rate structure costing users far less than what was earlier proposed.

Commercial waterman would receive a 50 percent discount for long-term dockage under the approved plan, up from the 40 percent proposed last month.

Town residents also would have a 30 percent dockage rate discount, and transient commercial watermen would receive a 20 percent discount.

The town also will look at metered electrical offerings for vessels, instead of flat fees — 50-amp service more than doubled in cost, to $105.

“I don’t like the electric rates,” said Mayor Smitty Dize.

But after-hours fueling at the harbor looks to be gone for good. Town manager John Hozey said unattended fuel sales violate state law.

Long hours by commercial watermen meant they would fill up at the town docks before and after the fueling facility was open.

Last fall the town approved an agreement for the Cape Charles Yacht Center to handle day-to-day operation of the harbor. Evaluating and streamlining the harbor’s rate structure was part of the conversion.

The approved motion also will not charge watermen for pressure washing and provide a seven-day grace period before charging for on-land storage areas for equipment.

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