SHALIMAR — WaterWorld owner Stan Shipp’s continued service on Okaloosa County’s Floating Structure Advisory Committee eventually will be determined by the County Commission.
That’s according to Greg Kisela, deputy county administrator for operations, who attended the committee’s meeting Thursday. Shipp attended it as well in his commission-appointed role as the committee’s Crab Island vendor representative.
The National Park Service temporarily suspended Shipp’s commercial use permit for his WaterWorld floating restaurant after a woman allegedly working in cahoots with the business was arrested Tuesday for selling alcohol without a license.
Kisela said Shipp’s future as a committee member will be determined once the National Park Service and county Sheriff’s Office have completed their investigations into the alleged booze violation.
Thursday’s meeting was the third session of the advisory board, which was formed to review and possibly improve a slew of Crab Island rules the county established last fall. One of the rules prohibits the sale, distribution of consumption of alcoholic beverages on various commercial floating structures or vessels.
Most of Thursday’s meeting centered on creating what committee members said would be more equitable permit fees for Crab Island vendors.
The island has 26 vendors, including nine who operate large floating structures. Each vendor pays a $1,000 monthly permit fee to the county. That money helps the county recoup the cost of providing law enforcement and fire protection to the island's vendors and visitors.
After much discussion, the committee agreed Thursday to ask county staff to work on a possible new fee structure. It would consist of a fee for the smaller, mobile vendors and a separate, two-tiered fee for large floating structures, based on their square footage.
Each type of vendor also would have to remit a percentage of their gross sales revenue to the county.
During the fee discussion, committee member Mike Buckingham apparently grew frustrated at Shipp’s participation at the meeting.
Buckingham wondered if Shipp should “stand down” from the committee until the probe into the recent alcohol violation is completed.
“We’re not going to go there,” said committee Chairman Ken Wampler, who noted more than once during the session that Shipp’s status on the board was not the committee’s responsibility.