Bill Little navigated and docked his vessel along the bulkhead of Jetty Park late Monday afternoon.
Back in business, he and his family hoped, for the first time since Michael.
On the other hand, the St. Joe Company last week suddenly pulled from public consideration a large-scale map amendment for its project to rebuild the Port St. Joe Marina, which was to be before the city’s Planning and Development Review Board (PDRB) Tuesday.
The company had advertised the special PDRB hearing for several weeks.
A company’s spokesperson’s words to the city were “We’ll get back to you,” said City Manager Jim Anderson.
All that comes after city commissioners tossed down a gauntlet before St. Joe last week concerning an agreement to have a handful of charter boats dock along city-owned Jetty Park in the wake of hurricane damages to their former home at the marina.
After months of waiting on an agreement from St. Joe, commissioners responded with outrage over the terms of the draft agreement finally submitted recently by St. Joe.
Commissioner Scott Hoffman likened the agreement to asking permission to use your own land.
The draft agreement, with a life-span of just six months, would have allowed egress and ingress to Jetty Park over what St. Joe maintains is its land, sovereign submerged lands below the ingress and egress passage into the marina basin.
In response, commissioners tabled further consideration of the agreement, but also approved moving ahead to allow charter boats to dock at Jetty Park, setting up, a city attorney said, likely litigation with St. Joe.
And, commissioners approved that motion while adding language that pushback (litigation) from St. Joe over use of Jetty Park would result in a denial of any permit for the marina project, whether the PDRB had approved it or not.
Hoffman was particularly outspoken in that he would not vote in favor of any permit for the marina project as long as charter boats were being prevented from making a living.
“We’re not just going to roll over,” he said. “The city has a big part in those plans. We need to safeguard what we own.
“The priority is to get the boats in the water. It’s clear there is support for the people of Port St. Joe to use what we own.”
Little, the first to dock this week, was in a particularly difficult spot.
He had purchased a new boat in February and transported from New Jersey down to dry dock on the belief, offered by city officials and commissioners, that an agreement with St. Joe was pending.