St. Augustine residents insist county do more for aging boat ramp

“The problem is the slow reaction from St. Johns county to remedy this, it is causing a lot of anguish among people,” a St. Augustine local said.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — At the Spot Café in St. Augustine, almost any day of the week, you will find steaming hot food and heated conversations about everything.

William ‘Billy’ Hennesy had a hot topic; the condition of a boat ramp in his neighborhood.

“I’ve got 167 signatures from people who want to know what is going on,” said Hennesy.

Billy, as he likes to be called, has lived in his St. Augustine for 25 years and said he’s a regular user of the boat ramp at the end of Palmetto Road.

He came to the Spot Café to tell us about the issues with the ramp.

Issues he claims St. Johns County has failed to address.

“The problem is the slow reaction from St. Johns county to remedy this, it is causing a lot of anguish among people,” he said.

Hennesy said his community has enjoyed the use of the Palmetto Road Boat ramp until new homes were built near the access point.

Now, navigating a truck with a boat and trailer attached, it’s been difficult at best, said Hennesy.

“We were able to move statutes after 100 years, I hope it doesn’t take a hundred years to get it fix,” he said.

The new homes are very protective of their property lines, and the county has installed signs that prohibit parking along the curb.

It all makes getting in and turning around difficult at best.

“Palmetto Road Boat ramp it states it there plan as day, so we are giving out maps to people who are trying to launch their boats and they will get threatened when they go down there,” he said.  

On Your Side reached out to the St. Johns Parks and Recreation for answers and this is the county’s response:  

What is the status of the ramp?

The boat ramp is currently open and available for use. The ramp does have waterway access limitations during most low- to mid-tides for larger vessels.

Is there an issue accessing the ramp?

If vehicles are parked in the right-of-way, there can be an issue with getting a vehicle and trailer to make the proper turn radius to be able to back the trailer down into the water.

If there is what’s being done to address this issue? 

County staff regularly checks the ramp, addressing vehicles parking illegally and works with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on having them moved if deemed that they are blocking the public’s access to the ramp. “No Parking” signs have been posted in designated “no parking” areas to create the most advantageous turn radius for vehicles and trailers.

What is the future of this ramp?

Currently, there are no change in plans.

It is not the response Hennesy was hoping for but the county is clearly aware of the potential problem and trying address them.

“That’s our right to go down there and so far I haven’t gotten any response from anybody expect the recreation department head,” said Hennesy.

He is looking for a permanent solution that would be amicable to the users of the boat ramp and the property owners adjacent to ramp.

Until then the county’s park and recreation department plans to continue monitoring the situation at this public boat ramp. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *