Overheard on the web: Joe's Bayou edition
Destin city leaders recently reevaluated the launch fees at Joe's Bayou that are currently set at $30 for a resident annual pass and $15 per launch for visitors. We asked our Facebook audience to share their thoughts on the issue; here are some of the comments that were posted.
Kurt Rieper: The city council is having workshops(i.e., Envision Destin) to kill "short term rentals"...yet, it can't afford to maintain the parks it already has! Does anybody else see the idiocy being presented to us?
Bear Perkins: Aren't they getting a cut off of the mid-bay bridge fees they're raping everyone on? They've gotta keep finding new ways to squeeze money out of folks.
Kathleen Reed: If the boat ramp is overused, then selling permits is the only, proven way, to limit use.
Jeremy Wells: Remember it is not theft if a politician or cop does the stealing.
Carrie Ann: I was one of the residents to make issue. First let's remember that City Councilmen Wood doesn't seem to get my point. Yes I own a boat. I actually own two boats. The point I was making is that we already pay to maintain the ramp as it is. To charge me again is not fair. It's not the money it's the point. On any given weekend during peek season, we have to put our boat in, take the trailer back home ( no parking left), go back home, pick up the trailer and go back to pull the boat out. Now if your gonna charge me twice for the launch, at least you could do is make sure I have a place to park. If the amenity were free, then there would be no room for complaining that I have paid twice for something I can't utilize. The next note is the fact that I have to continue to pay to access the waterways as residents. All I asked was for the City to throw us a bone. Perfect point that Jim Wood is not on board with us here in Destin. Never was.
Ekim Rhud: I thought your local property taxes were supposed to take care of it..
Gwen Nettleton Auxt: It's a perfect way to get folks not to boat or launch from there! What would all that money go toward?
Terry Carver: After driving from Mississippi to Destin I drove down to Joe's Bayou boat ramp to launch my boat for the week. The attendant told me it was $15 to launch. I drove right back out and over to the launch by Dewey Destin’s, a business that charges $10. And they help you launch. In Mississippi public boat ramps are free.
Kevin Morlier: As a resident, I don't really have an issue paying the $30, but along w/that fee I would like to be able to rinse off my boat and know that I have a place to park. I know if I'm not at the launch by early morning I will not have a place to park therefore I would not be boating. It’s crazy but definitely a mad house there. Now a private launch for residents only sounds like a dang good idea. Even at a minimal charge of say $5, just knowing I would have a place to park my trailer and rinse off would be worth it. And whoever wants to continue to launch at Joe's to avoid paying a fee, let them launch for free.
Keith Phillips: I live in Fort Walton and haven't used that launch since last year. Even in some rough weather (keep in mind I have a 17' Mitzi flats boat) I launched at Cinco for free. The cost of gas for the ride to crab island was cheaper. Sure, I ate some water, but I'm not paying $15 to fish there. $10 was enough. Destin is ridiculous on how much more money they want from everyone.
Fred S. Hann: I agree with Kevin, I'll pay the fee but I need a place for my trailer. Tow the out of towners, including Keith. Or make it a free-for-all. Either or.