boat ramp fees commission meeting

The Fort Island Trail Park boat ramp is popular for boaters heading into the freshwaters of the Crystal River or to the salt waters of the Gulf of Mexico. County commissioners are considering a boat launch fee.

Boat-launching fees and the future of one of Citrus County’s more rural areas top a busy county commission agenda for Tuesday.

Commissioners are expected to set a public hearing for 2 p.m. Feb. 9 to consider an ordinance setting fees to launch boats that are transported by trailer.

Fees would be $10 per day or $50 annual pass. The proposal allows for discounts — $25 annual pass for veterans, anyone over 65 and can be purchased during a one-day half-price sale.

Commissioners have discussed boat launch fees for nearly two years. Saying they need the funds to improve parking at the county’s more popular ramps, a divided board in August decided to move ahead with the plan.

The proposed ordinance makes no distinction for motorized boats. Commissioners in August said the fees should cover kayaks as well and the ordinance says the fees are aimed at any boat launched from a trailer.

The board meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 at the county courthouse, 110 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness. The agenda includes:

• 5:20 p.m. public hearing on the Cardinal Street interchange management plan. The plan, in anticipation of the Suncoast Parkway interchange expected to open in early 2022, also creates a Cardinal Mixed-Use (CMU) zoning classification to encourage combinations of development that could result in “walking” communities where homes, shopping and trails are all compacted.

• Recommended approval of contract with Citrus County Chamber of Commerce for $800,000 in CARES Act grant funds. The chamber will disburse those funds to businesses suffering economic hardship from COVID-19.

• Discuss and possible vote on funding for the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO.

• 1:30 p.m. presentation from the clerk of court’s office for an audit of Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management.

• Appointments to numerous boards, including the planning and development commission, or PDC.

• A 9:30 a.m. workshop on septic-to-sewer projects will precede the regular meeting.

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com. To view more of his stories, go to www.tinyurl.com/y3bakm6w.