WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Traversing down Holmes Creek may soon look a little different for boaters.
Washington County Commissioners are considering an ordinance to restrict certain activities at some of the boat ramps.
Cotton Landing would be for non-motorized vessels, but commercial use would be allowed, whereas Culpepper Landing would allow motorized vessels, but commercial use would be prohibited.
Residents seem to be divided on this issue.
“Closing boat ramps for one group or another is just not fair to all the citizens,” said Washington County resident, James Brooks.
“Kayaking companies are using what our taxpayer dollars are being spent for for their own commercial purposes,” said resident, Elijah Hooks.
“We are hoping to make the motorized vessels ingress and egress out of Holmes Creek easier but we are really hoping to limit some of the traffic through a residential neighborhood,” said Washington County Commission Chairman, Tray Hawkins. “We have people that live along the corridor from State Road 277 into Culpepper boat landing so if we take the commercial traffic out of it, we are hoping to make their lives a little more easy.”
One local kayak rental worker said the change would hurt the surrounding community because there will be fewer kayak renters spending money at other businesses.
Others argue the creek is already too commercialized.
“There are no regulations, there are no strings attached to that,” Hooks said. “They are just being able to use for their commercial purposes our boat ramp for the citizens.”
“We never want to be a board that steps on the throats of small businesses,” Hawkins said. “We want to uplift and help small businesses in any way we can, but also we do not want to get in the way of our constituents utilizing one of the best features in the Panhandle which is Holmes Creek and the springs system.”
It’s anticipated commissioners will approve advertising the proposed ordinance Thursday.
They must wait for at least 30 days from advertising, to vote on the changes.