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Crystal River has few mooring leases

Only two of the 11 owners of boats tied up along NW Third Street signed leases with the city by the deadline Tuesday, City Clerk Shirley Carroll said. A third owner, Glenn Talley, picked up a lease agreement Wednesday and said he would be back to sign after reviewing it overnight, Carroll said. Talley, owner of Talley's Pro Dive, has the most boats tied up, five.

The city will call the other boat owners today to remind them that they need to sign a lease, Carroll said. She did not know what action the city would take if any refused to pay or could not be contacted.

The City Council decided last month to require that the boat owners pay $30 a month and sign a lease and an indemnity agreement. The latter frees the city of any responsibility if there is an accident along the sloped embankment from NW Third Street to the water.

Initially, the council had voted to evict the boat owners after City Attorney Jeannette Haag warned that the city's insurance liability could increase if the city continued to allow the boat owners to tie up along the street and at Brown's Blue Crab fish house at the end of the street.

But protests from some of the boat owners persuaded the council to allow them to stay on a month-to-month basis if they signed leases.

The city is working on plans to redevelop the area, and the council has not decided whether the boat owners will be allowed to stay if a new dock is built.

In all, 19 boats are moored on the embankment that runs into Brown's Blue Crab fish house, according to a survey by the city last month.