Town continues to review issues with waterways - News-Times: News

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Town continues to review issues with waterways

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:00 am

BEAUFORT — Town commissioners here took no action Tuesday on an ordinance that tries to address safety issues in the area’s waterways by regulating anchored boats.

The meeting took place in the train depot on Broad Street and was a continuation of the board’s regular August meeting, which commissioners had recessed. Mayor Richard Stanley told the audience at the opening of the meeting that commissioners would not be voting on the proposed ordinance. Instead, Commissioner Marianna Hollinshed gave a review of a committee that met Aug. 20 to discuss the topic.

Prior to any discussion, the board voted to excuse Commissioner Robert Campbell, who could not attend.

The ordinance, when previously proposed, required boat owners anchored in Taylors Creek, Town Creek Basin and Gallants Channel to register their vessels if staying for more than 48 hours with the Beaufort Police Department and removed them prior to the arrival of a hurricane. If the owner didn’t remove the vessel, the police department would have the right to do so.

That proposed ordinance also requires vessels to have a minimum of $50,000 liability insurance coverage and violators of the new law could be fined up to $500 a day.

Boaters were opposed to the proposal during the board’s Aug. 13 meeting, so commissioners set up a committee to further discuss it. That committee includes Capt. Horatio Sinbad, Capt. Lee Sykes of Towboats U.S., planning board chairman Doug Doubleday, planning board member Ryan Neve and Town Creek Marina operator Steve Tulevich. Ted Tyndall, assistant director of permits and enforcement with the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, was also in attendance, as were town staff and commissioners Hollinshed and Ann Carter.

Ms. Hollinshed said the committee meeting was civil but stalled over several key issues. One of those was jurisdiction; Town Creek is a Harbor of Refuge and falls under the jurisdiction of the county. The Beaufort Police Department, she said, does not have authority to board a boat without permission or cause, while other agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard or the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, do have that authority.

Ms. Hollinshed said there were also concerns about the accountability of how information collected during the registration process would be used. The commissioner said she believed this issue may be related to tax registration or in some cases the person simply might not want to be registered with anyone or have anyone “know their business.” She added this was a general comment presented at the committee meeting and wasn’t specifically pertaining to the people present.

The final sticking point was over the enforcement of the proposed ordinance. That enforcement, Ms. Hollinshed said, was perceived as punitive. Requiring boats to leave the town’s waterways during times of hurricanes or other weather events without offering alternative harbor was a major issue, she said. Many seek refuge in the town’s waterways, including those who are required to vacate dockage, those whose travels might be interrupted and those who can’t afford the haul-out offered by other marinas.

Ms. Hollinshed said that all the committee attendees agreed the unattended, derelict boats in the waterways were a problem, but were only a small number of the boats in the area. Attendees preferred a mooring field with oversight by the town and believed it would better fit the town’s image.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • clammerhead posted at 11:04 am on Sat, Sep 1, 2012.

    clammerhead Posts: 712

    I wonder when we will get the announcement about the Town putting these rules into effect, even though they will not being able to handle policing, securing, towing, and storing all these boats.

    I bet it comes right before someone gets awarded a contract for those services............


  • francis posted at 8:39 pm on Fri, Aug 31, 2012.

    francis Posts: 2426

    justrite, the answer is yes and yes. Failure to secure. Things are changing quickly, modify and adapt. Bigger and bigger government is a disease, and it is very contagious.

  • Osprey posted at 2:27 pm on Fri, Aug 31, 2012.

    Osprey Posts: 412

    If it is such a problem, just fill in Town Creek, pave it and put a Walmart there.

  • justrite posted at 8:38 am on Fri, Aug 31, 2012.

    justrite Posts: 164

    Townships are going too far with all this. How about trying to manage the town? You can't manage something if you don't have control of it! Their jumping into something they need to stay away from. How about this, if one of those docks on taylor creek breaks away and rams and sinks my boat can I collect from the owner of the dock? If a water spout sucks up a duck blind from bouge sound and dumps it in my living room and the owners name is inside the blind can I collect for damages done? But then again we all living here would have never believed we would have to pay to go on the beach either? Or just about all accesses to the atlantic ocean are blocked off from the public. Or the park service running federal parks and public lands like some forgien 3rd world police force. Towns need to manage their own towns and if there is a problem with boats in the harbor, just contact the U.S.Coast Guard and listen to what they tell you.

  • wingnut posted at 5:21 am on Fri, Aug 31, 2012.

    wingnut Posts: 8

    Here is a solution for these boats.. Require them to have their holding tanks pumped out. It is a matter of health that these boats are dumping their raw sewage rite into the water... filthy. I have seen them pumping or in some cases dumping a bucket rite in the water. As much of an issue as septic tanks are to our coastal conservation, the Taylor Creek brown trout factories should be inspected as well. No acceptable sewage... No Mooring. H

  • francis posted at 5:15 pm on Thu, Aug 30, 2012.

    francis Posts: 2426

    You can't make me leave for a hurricane, even though I may cause damage to some one else's property, which I can't pay for, without giving me another place to go. Are you dealing with little children? Having a boat is risky! Man up and take charge of your own life. Grow a set of anchors. Don't want to have insurance, wants a free place to anchor up, doesn't want to register for what ever real reason { all the more reason to check them out. Never know what you will find .} . [thumbdown]


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