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Old 15-03-2008, 17:52   #1
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Is something going on in Florida?

I am out of the state right now....in a place far colder, but I was speaking to my wife and she said that people in our marina and some others are talking about a plan by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection "to assess each marina, and dock owner, dock-o-minimum owner, etc" a fee of up to $4500.00 per slip....supposedly to pay for the benefits gained by boat owners as a result of dredging projects. Now....I haven't been able to find anything on this web-wise...but my wife is not one of those people who gossip, and says that she has heard this from several sources. Has anyone else heard about this?

Something like this will really rack the boating industry in FL. Plus it will cost the state a fortune in revenues.

I've sent off an email to Gov. Crist regarding this....hopefully I'll get back an answer.
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Old 15-03-2008, 18:24   #2
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I do not keep my boat in a slip but have a few friends that do. Keep me informed and I will see if they have heard the same. I will be interested in seeing what the Gov. says
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Old 15-03-2008, 20:04   #3
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This will make a good read for you. It must be something in the water in Floriduh

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Old 16-03-2008, 01:54   #4
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Storm brewing over dock fee
DEP considering rule to charge $4,500 ~ by Greg Martin
(sun-herald)

"The Florida Department of Environmental Protection may charge the owners of private docks and marinas that have boating access to salt water a $4,500 one-time fee per boat slip, if the property owners would benefit from state dredging projects.

The fee would not be charged to dock owners for "maintenance dredging," but only for dredging new channels or making existing ones wider or deeper, according to DEP official s...

... Property owners who would benefit from "dredge easements" and "breakwater structures" would pay both an annual fee based on the size of the easement plus a one-time fee of $2,000 for freshwater or $4,500 for saltwater access per boat slip or waterfront lot.

The DEP responded to a request for an interview about the fees by answering several questions via e-mail.

"Unfortunately, the language was not clear and has created a misconception that every lot owner within huge areas will be assessed a $4,500 fee, which is incorrect," DEP public lands bureau officials Scott Woolam and Vicki Thompson wrote in their e-mail response.

The officials emphasized the new fee is for new dredging only -- not for maintenance dredging.

The current rule requires an applicant to pay an annual fee based on the value of the easement plus an enhanced value determined by an appraisal. The draft language was an effort to simplify the process by eliminating the need for the appraisal, the officials wrote ..."

Goto: </title> <LINK REL="STYLESHEET" HREF="../style.css" TYPE="text/css"></head> <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"> function NoFileFound() { alert('News story cannot be displayed\nFile does not exist\nYou will be returned to our home pa

***

See also the Boating Industry magazine White Paper:
Public Water Access

Boating Industry shares expert advice on the many ways individual companies and organizations from one end of the industry to the other can move this issue forward.
Goto:
http://www.boating-industry.com/imag...ss_FINALsm.pdf
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Old 15-04-2008, 11:09   #5
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I fired off an email to Governor Crist on the "myflorida.com" website....asking about this and here is the reply that I got back from the state:

Quote:
Thank you for your e-mail question to Governor Crist regarding the proposed
$4,500 fee for dredging easements. I can certainly understand your concern
if a large fee such as this were to be charged for every boat slip in the
State of Florida. Please let me assure you that it is not now nor has it
ever been our intention to assess every boat slip this fee under the proposed
rulemaking. The actual idea was to propose an alternative method for
assessing an applicant for a new easement for dredging. The draft fee
language will be rewritten to clarify that it is not for existing easements
or maintenance dredging. In addition, the rule language is just a proposal
at this time and will require approval by the Governor and Cabinet to be
adopted.
I hope this relieves your concern regarding this issue. Please feel free to
contact us if you have any further questions or comments.
Thank you.

Victoria F. Thompson
Program Administrator
Bureau of Public Land Administration
Department of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS #130
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
850-245-2688
850-519-0259 cell
850-245-2761 fax
It appears that the "newspaper article" was just vague enough to cause people to think it would be an assessment on ALL docks and slips in the state. This is not the case as noted by the previous poster. It also seems that the news article has created a firestorm of email, calls, and letters.... There was also another article in the paper where the woman who was attributed as the source of the original comments did some very serious "backpedaling".....
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Old 15-04-2008, 12:26   #6
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The real news here is the Department of Environmental Protection flexing their muscles. Why would the DEP be involved in how dredging will be paid, or who's liable to pay in the first place? Florida's ICW is under the jursidiction of another department. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

There's been some disturbing developments in Florida's anchoring laws in that the Department of Environmental Protection is pushing for 72 hour anchoring ban statewide. Supposedly they have the votes in the legislature to get this done. So far, nothings been heard to contradict this from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Is this a turf battle developing?

Right now, in addtion to FWC, we also have the St. John's Water River management district in control in our part of Florida. It's these folks that marina's contract their bottom leases with, as they are the agency which manages the ICW.

It sounds LIke DEP wants a more active management role.
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Old 15-04-2008, 12:44   #7
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A follow up post. Here's the article I read about DEP tossing their hat in the ring so to speak on anchoring bans. This is a recent development and is in the "Citizens for Florida's Waterways" April newsletter.

http://www.cffw.org/files/newsletters/April%202008.pdf

The article is titled Anchoring Update, it's on the front page.

Oh and it's the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, not the federal agency.
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