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Crystal River to discuss bid to enlarge city boat ramp

The City Council will hold a public work session at 5:30 p.m. today to discuss a proposal to widen the city boat ramp at Knox Bait House. William Page, owner of Knox Bait House and the nearby Bay Point Dive Center, has offered to enlarge and maintain the boat ramp at his expense if the city turns it over to him.

He has promised to keep the ramp open to the public. He said he does not intend to charge a launch fee, but would not rule out that possibility if it becomes necessary to maintain the ramp. Crystal River residents, however, would be exempt from any launch fee.

On busy weekends, boats on trailers often are lined up onto U.S. 19, creating a hazard, Page said. He would widen the ramp so that two boats can be launched simultaneously. He estimated the cost at $15,000 to $20,000.

At the earliest, the project could be completed in one year, he said. He also has plans to increase the number of parking spaces from 32 to 56.

Also on the agenda for the work session today is a discussion of ways to combat robberies of convenience stores.