Boat ramp fees bring blow back

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 09:42 AM.

Port St. Joe commissioners walked back a bit Tuesday concerning boat launch fees at the Frank Pate Park boat ramp.

After taking heat from county residents and officials concerning the fee structure – under which county residents paid $5 per launch with no charge to city residents – commissioners, by a 3-2 vote, waived fees for county residents and will approve a new resolution in the coming weeks.

Commissioner William Thursbay brought the motion, saying while the intention, to build a maintenance fund for the boat ramp, was good the reaction from county residents had not been less than positive.

“I have gotten a lot of heat,” Thursbay said.

Commissioner Rex Buzzett acknowledged he had also heard many complaints, but said the season pass for county residents was just $25 – “Not a lot to ask” – and if only out-of-county residents would be paying wondered if the idea of ramp fees was worth the effort.

He said commissioners, who entered into the system less than a month ago as an experiment, should let the current tourist season play out.

“I think we need to leave it like it is,” Buzzett said.

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