Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Seeking Funds to Repair Docks, Ramps; Damage in Some Areas Limits Access to Water

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Seeking Funds to Repair Docks, Ramps; Damage in Some Areas Limits Access to Water

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bauerlein

For Vic Tison, who fishes the St. Johns River just like his father and grandfather before him, the yellow tape across the damaged floating dock at Arlington Lions Club Park was the last straw.

He already was upset that the Oak Harbor boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway was off limits to launching most boats because of severe damage to that ramp.

"That's a great location with a bunch of parking out there," Tison said of the Oak Harbor ramp. "It's a great place, but it doesn't do any good if you can only put a kayak in it."

After one of the floating docks at the Lions Club Park boat ramp broke down in November, Tison joined some fellow anglers to sound off at a meeting of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission.

The Mayor's Office will file legislation Tuesday asking the City Council to approve a $63,364 replacement of the floating dock at Lions Club Park. The goal will be to get the work done by spring 2014.

As for Oak Harbor, the parks department is in the midst of doing a $179,500 design study for rebuilding that ramp, which has suffered from erosion.

"It's hard to play catch-up once you get behind, and that's what we're doing now is playing catch-up," said City Councilman Don Redman, chairman of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission.

The commission approved a resolution asking the council to approve the spending for the Lions Club boat ramp on a fast-track basis.

Redman said there's always been demand for more boat ramps and that's something the city will look at with an upcoming master plan, which update a 2002 study.

City parks department spokeswoman Pam Roman said expanding access to waterways is a high priority. The Lions Club Park dock was on the city's list for replacement later in 2014 because of its age, but a strong storm in November damaged the dock and moved up the timetable. …

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