At the August 3 Carrabelle city meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to have City Attorney Dan Hartman draft an ordinance to levy a $10 fee for the use of all boat ramps within the city limits, which include the ramps on Marine Street and at Fourth Street West.
The system could be similar to honor system fees collected at state parks. Boaters would fill in an envelop with their tag number and enclose the fee and put the envelope on a lock box at the ramp. They could then display a tag detached from the envelope in their automobile window. A city employee would check boxes periodically for cash and verify automobiles parked nearby with boat trailers had a tag on display. Cars with no tag displayed could be ticketed or even booted until the launch fee is paid.
Mayor Brenda La Paz said the measure was suggested by Carrabelle’s Community Redevelopment Agency board. The funds raised by launching fees would be used for upkeep and security of the ramps.
Commissioner Frank Mathes suggested county residents be exempt from the fees.
La Paz said residents could pay a small annual fee to cover administrative costs of recordkeeping, and could be given a tag to display in their car window for the entire year.
Commissioners debated briefly whether the exemption should include only Carrabelle residents, or residents of the entire county, and whether owners of vacation homes in the city should be exempt.
La Paz said it would be necessary to have several workshops to reach a final decision on details of the plan. No date was set for the workshops but LaPaz said commissioners would start working on the boat ramp plan in a month or so.
Hartman said he would begin researching similar ordinances in other Florida counties and municipalities.