Hourly boat docks opened in downtown

By Times Staff
Published May 25, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - After five years of trying, the city has finally opened a set of public hourly docks along its downtown waterfront.

"It's a great opportunity to even more enjoy all of things going on in St. Pete, " Mayor Rick Baker said Thursday.

In the city's continuing efforts to bring more people downtown, Baker and others are banking on its sprawling waterfront to chip in for the first time.

The eight hourly docks - located on the south side of the Pier approach next to Bayshore Drive - are just a start, city officials said. If the initial program succeeds, officials say they will consider expanding the effort in its municipal marina.

The docks are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can accommodate boats up to 60 feet long.

The docks cannot be used overnight, and cost $1 an hour. The meter machine attached to the slips accepts credit cards.

Council member John Bryan had been interested in adding hourly dock space along the downtown waterfront since he took office.

Growing up, he use to tie his boat to the seawall. Finally, there's a better option, he said.

Marina officials will enforce parking restrictions, which include a six-hour limit, said Walt Miller, who manages the facility.

A fine is $20 per hour, he said.


Closures begin tonight on McMullen-Booth

CLEARWATER - After rush hour tonight, part of McMullen-Booth Road will close in both directions for up to three weeks.

As tens of thousands of motorists search for new routes, traffic will grow on U.S. 19 and other major roads.

The road will close at the CSX railroad crossing so the crossing can be rebuilt.

That means motorists won't be able to get from Drew Street to State Road 580.


Fire officials seek ban on July 4 fireworks

BROOKSVILLE - No rain may mean no fireworks in Hernando County back yards this Fourth of July.

With backing from Spring Hill Fire Rescue and the Brooksville Fire Department, Hernando County Fire Rescue Chief Mike Nickerson plans to ask county commissioners to consider a ban on the sale and use of fireworks.

The only exception would be for fireworks displays carried out by pyrotechnic experts, and where firefighters are on hand during and after the display.


Police rank and file critical of department

ST. PETERSBURG - City officials last week received a draft copy of a long-awaited study of the police department. While the study praised some aspects of the department, its survey shows a rift between officers in uniformed services and everyone else - especially the chief's office, which has 19 others in addition to Harmon.

Nearly all of the officers in uniformed services believe there aren't enough police. About three-fourths say the department doesn't plan well.