Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To live aboard or not to live aboard

For the past three months, the subject of live aboard’s at the Battery Park Marina (also known as the ten-foot hole) has come up at the regular scheduled monthly meetings of the Apalachicola city commission. Tuesday’s May 5, meeting was certainly no exception.

Other concerns expressed by many during the meetings were the unkempt conditions in which the city operates the marina. As well as the low rent fees charged and the manner in which some tenants have allegedly violated the clean water act.

Currently there exists a city ordinance that allows a person to live aboard his or her vessel docked at the marina at the discretion of the harbormaster, a practice in which the city commission is now considering discontinuing.

Further, City Administrator Betty Taylor-Webb has spoken with the Battery Park Committee concerning the junk that currently clutters the marina. Webb has also alerted the U.S. Coast Guard to visit the basin in order to conduct a compliance inspection of each boat moored there.

In addition, the police department will begin red tagging for towing any vehicle parked at the marina that’s not operational.

Earlier a request was made of the Franklin County Public Health Unit to take water samples from the basin to help determine whether there were any violations of the clean water act. The results of the samples revealed that a minuscule amount of fecal coliform was present in the basin. According to water quality standards, the levels were so diminutive, that they were considered good.

The city is also looking into a new fee structure for mooring at the basin, one that will raise the rates but at the same time give a break to local residents.

In the near future, City Administrator Betty Taylor-Webb will schedule a workshop so that the commission can gather additional public input, before any final decisions are reached in this matter.

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