Boat slips won't help downtown, 1/7
Letters to the Editor
Published January 7, 2007
Re: No secrets in plan to fund boat slips, letter Dec. 27
I beg to differ with letter writer Frank Dame and the Clearwater City Council. Yes, we hope most of the cost of the boat slips proposed on the downtown waterfront will be shouldered by the 129 slip renters, but the unobstructed view of the harbor and Intracoastal Waterway will be lost forever to the 100,000-plus citizens of Clearwater.
Nobody has yet said how 129 boat slips will open the floodgates of tourists to flock to the bayfront to see boats going up and down with the tide. What will generate revenue for downtown? As a taxpayer and a consumer, there is nothing to draw me to the bayfront. I still do some shopping and dine out occasionally, but until the construction or destruction of the roads is complete, it won't happen very much.
If the city would build a boardwalk and encourage businesses to build shops, like on Sand Key or at John's Pass, that would be a lot more interesting than just boat slips. It would give residents as well as tourists a destination to spend money, not just to look. As long as the city keeps ownership of the land.
How convenient it will be for the new owners of all the downtown condominiums to have the city build them some very cheap boat slips to rent. Of course, most of the owners will be Scientologists - not that that is bad, but the city should not be helping out any special interest.
Put the boat slips on the south side of the Memorial Causeway; there, they won't spoil the view - the mangroves already do that. You could put a thousand slips there.
The fact that the five City Council members all are proponents is a little scary, but considering that the last one was picked as a rubber stamp for council until the March elections, they are in a hurry to put their mark on a project during their term in office.
No one wants to take credit for the $10-million Town Lake and its much-heralded town house development that is an eyesore on Cleveland Street. When will it, if ever, be done?
Jerry Purdy, Clearwater
Re: Proposed downtown Clearwater boat slips
Self-sufficiency is unrealistic
I couldn't agree more with letter writer Frank Dame of Yacht Services of Tampa Bay that our waterfront should be an asset, but I think it should be an asset to all Clearwater citizens, not more of an asset to some than to others.
I think it very naive of citizens to think any Clearwater project will actually be self-sustaining, with no taxpayer funds needed for the long-term maintenance. The city budget tells me that each city employee costs $6,400 per year for just for their health insurance. Will any new employees be required for the boat slips? Will there be a need to empty trash and maintain restrooms? Will there ever be a need to upgrade or repair the parking areas or the dock pilings or decking?
There are so many environmental requirements that must be met and that are continually changing, that we do not even know what's coming down the pike. Even when there are no fueling facilities, pumping bilges put fuels and oils into the water.
Please direct me to the balance sheets of those Clearwater government programs that are totally self-paying and have never needed tax dollar input. If there are any, there aren't many.
For my money, I would rather see the area made into a park with benches for citizens and visitors to see the beautiful sunsets or just allow the kids to watch the boats go by.
I have reviewed the proposal and I can see the boats moored there with their tall masts and 40- 50-foot bulk blocking the view to the west. The only reason this marina is proposed is not for the average citizen of Clearwater, but for those few with more dollars than they can spend.
When Clearwater citizens want to see the beautiful sunsets, all they need to do is drive to Clearwater Beach, pay the parking fees and gaze out over the small beach area not owned and commercialized by big businesses. That area is so traffic congested I personally don't even go there any more.
But yes, let's indeed let the citizens of Clearwater make an "informed" decision at the polls (again). There must have been some reason they didn't understand the last time. Let's keep giving them another chance until they get it right. Wow! How many times will it take?
John Biggs, Clearwater
Your voice counts
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[Last modified January 6, 2007, 22:29:13]
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