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New ramp fees - NOT!!!!

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  • New ramp fees - NOT!!!!

    This is the park next to the hotel. Sorry guys.

    FWB approves boat launch fees

    The money will be used to pay for maintenance and future upgrades to Liza Jackson Park

    Dusty Ricketts

    Tuesday April 8th, 2008

    Comment on this Story | Read Comments

    FORT WALTON BEACH — Boaters should start bringing their wallets when they launch at Liza Jackson Park.

    The Fort Walton Beach City Council approved a new fee structure Tuesday that adds a $5 daily charge per trailer. Boaters can also purchase $100 annual passes for unlimited launches.

    “My first reaction is that I’m angry,” said Barbara Devaux, one of four residents who spoke against the fees. “The citizens of Fort Walton Beach already have to pay for parks and recreation. Now they’re having to pay for it a second time to launch their boats. Penalizing the boaters to pay for the parks is out of line.”

    The City Council voted 4-2 to approve the ordinance. Councilmen Mike Holmes, Virgil Miller, Bill Garvie and Wayne Pullen voted yes and Councilmen Mike Minich and Dennis Reeves were opposed.

    “I really believe in user fees,” Holmes said. “This is not going to make or break anyone. We need to decide what we’re going to charge for and what where going to have to give up.”

    Pullen later asked if he could change his vote to no, but City Attorney Toni Craig said that would require the council to reopen the entire discussion. Pullen made a motion to reopen debate, but got no support.

    The new fee schedule includes $5 per trailer, $100 a year for unlimited launches per trailer and $25 a night to dock at Fort Walton Landing.

    Commercial launching fees are set at $5 per launch or $1,000 per year.

    The annual pass can be purchased at City Hall. Boaters who buy daily passes will pick them up and leave the money in an envelope near the boat ramps.

    Funds collected from the fees will be used to cover the cost of maintenance and future upgrades at Liza Jackson.

    The city’s recently completed a $150,000 upgrade to Liza Jackson that includes playground equipment, lighting, irrigation and 33 new boat trailer spaces.

    The city received a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program grant for $112,000 in July 2006. The remaining $38,000 was funded by the city.

    Daily News Staff Writer Dusty Ricketts can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 1448.
    1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
    1985 Mako 20c - sold
    Fort Walton Beach, FL

  • #2
    Thats understandable, Michigan has been charging fees for ramp usage for years. Its 7.50 at our local ramp per use. It helps assure clean restrooms,good lighting, and a well kept facility.

    [br]1994 Mako 215 Dual console Optimax 225[br]1978 Mako 19 with 90hp johnson[br]1996 Mako 22[br]1982 Mako 171 Angler 135 Black Max Mercury[br]1987 21b 225 Yamaha[br]1974 23 inboard Gusto gone.[br]1979m21 225johnson \"blue dolphin\" bought off this board and restored [br]with everyone\'s help!!Gone but not Forgotten....[br]1979 20 Mako 115 Suzuki gone[br]1977 19 Mako 115 Johnson gone[br]1976 23 Mako twin 140 Johnsons gone[br]1983 224 with closed transom and bracket[br]And 162 SOB (some other boats)[br]Venice Florida, Traverse city Mi.


    • #3
      Cooler heads prevailed and the city council REJECTED the launch fees! I was not able to attend, but sent a letter on behalf of ECMako urging them to vote no. I would have been for the fee if they would have used it to actually re-design the launch and provide extra facilities such as extending the dockage for staging launched boats, but they planned on using the money to pay for other items in the park.

      FWB rejects boat launch fee

      The 3-2 vote was a reversal from two weeks ago

      Dusty Ricketts

      Tuesday April 22nd, 2008

      Comment on this Story | Read Comments

      FORT WALTON BEACH — Boaters will continue to be able to launch their vessels at Liza Jackson Park for free.

      The Fort Walton Beach City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to deny the proposed $5 launching fee at the park. Councilmen Mike Minich, Wayne Pullen and Dennis Reeves voted to deny the fees. Councilmen Mike Holmes and Bill Garvie voted to approve them.

      “I think we’re leading people to think they would be getting something extra for their $5 (when that isn’t the case),” Reeves said before he voted against the proposal.

      Minich said he believed in user fees, but also believed city residents should receive some benefits for living and paying taxes there.

      The council two weeks ago gave preliminary approval to the fee by a 4-2 vote.

      Residents packed the council chambers and several of spoke on both sides of the issue.

      “I’m excited. I need to thank them,” said Fort Walton Beach resident Barbara Devaux after the vote was taken.

      Most of the people who spoke were against the fee. One issue mentioned was that the money to be collected was not earmarked to improve the boat ramp.

      Resident Millie Thrush was the only person who spoke in favor of the fee. With Florida’s Amendment 1 property tax reform and decreased property values leading to less revenue, Thrush said cities and counties are faced with lower budgets.

      “That makes a user fee almost necessary,” Thrush said.

      If approved, the new fees would have been $5 per trailer, $100 a year for unlimited launches per trailer, and $25 a night to dock at Fort Walton Landing.

      Commercial launching fees would have been $5 per launch or $1,000 for a yearly pass.

      Jeff Peters, the city’s parks and recreation director, had estimated the fees would collect about $18,000 a year. However, some councilmen and residents believed the amount would be less.
      1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
      1985 Mako 20c - sold
      Fort Walton Beach, FL


      • #4
        Well this is back up again. The FWB city council snuck in the first reading and the second reading is tonight (Sept. 23). They are hell bent on putting a tax on out of city boaters and they are justifying the fee on the addition of 36 new boat trailer parking spaces...which are on the OTHER SIDE of a 17 acre park!!!
        1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
        1985 Mako 20c - sold
        Fort Walton Beach, FL


        • #5
          Well fellas, add $5 per day to launch at the park next to the hotel for next year's funament....[!][V]

          Pretty pathetic - I was the ONLY voice there in opposition to a new user fee.
          1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
          1985 Mako 20c - sold
          Fort Walton Beach, FL


          • #6
            If I could just get my azz down there for the funament, I would gladly pay twice that to participate! Honestly, the way state and local governments are strapped for cash these days, I really expect this to become the norm. We have numerous federal parks and campgrounds at our lake that have been closed for six years due to budget cuts, and states are feeling the pinch more than the feds.

            If they use the money to improve the facility, I wouldn't have much of a problem with the new fee. Of course, that's a big if...
            [br]2003 Sea Hunt 232 Triton[br]1976 Mako 20 - Sold


            • #7
              I understand the frustration, but $5 isn't too bad - especially for nice ramps and parking. Here the town of Dauphin Island is trying to pass $10 launch fee, but ramps are right next to road so you have to dodge traffic to launch, there is basically no parking, and they plan to start writing tickets to those trailers parked along side the road [!].
              \'93 241
              \'82 224 - Mobile, AL Gone but NEVER Forgotten -


              • #8
                Consider yourself still lucky. You should see what they are charging on Long Island now. Even for town stickers. And you think Illinois has problems with politics.

                But get this.

                A friend just moved to the Denver area and was considering living in an area that had a lake. More like a large pond. Anyway, I checked into what was involved in using the ramp. First you had to live in one of the three neighboring towns, then you had to enter a lottery and then only 950 applicants were selected out of the lottery.

                Lucky for me, Northeast Florida is still the land of the free. But I do contribute through boat, truck and trailer registration fees.
                2007 Everglades 243 250 Suzuki[br]1988 201 Yamaha 200 - Sold[br]1990 261 T/200 SWS - Sold[br]1978 25 225 Johnson - Sold[br]1975 20 85 Merc - Sold[br]Jacksonville, FL[br]