Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

St. Pete wants to keep regulating derelict boats

ST. PETERSBURG — A few years ago, 80 to 90 boats that were either improperly anchored or broken down littered city waterways.

These days, that number is down to 20 to 30.

The city attributes much of the improvement to a pilot program set up by the state and run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Florida law does not allow local governments to regulate the anchorage of non-live-aboard vessels. The pilot program made an exception.

But it is set to expire July 1.

That would be a mistake, city officials said Thursday.

"These vessels were infrequently maintained or ignored completely and allowed to deteriorate to the point they became derelict," staffers wrote in a report to the council. "It's hard to describe in words how much nicer the waterways of our city have become since enacting this ordinance."

After hearing the report, Mayor Rick Kriseman urged the council to approve a resolution asking the Legislature to keep the program going for another three years.

It did, unanimously.

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