W. Bradford Gary
The outstanding new development on our waterfront is that the City Marina is scheduled to open on Monday with an official City Celebration to follow on December 9 at 4 p.m.
The “less than exceptional” news from the marina is that there are currently no plans to include residents in the actual activity of the marina. What happened to the âcity serviceâ?
In the absence of an individual purchase or charter of a very large vessel – with a minimum length of 60 feet – your actual use of the city marina will be strictly limited to viewing mega-ships from the shore of lake park. Under the new Town Marina arrangement, residents who use kayaks, paddleboards, or other small-boat water sports can forget about the town as a resident-friendly destination.
Large vessels registered abroad – probably under long-term charter – are allowed, but not locals who want to spend a day on the water. Residents may wonder why taxpayers spent $ 40 million and two years on road construction and closures, and yet do not have personal access to a municipal facility they paid for.
In addition, high schools in Palm Beach would clearly benefit from access to a water sports area in the city. Rowing teams from preparatory schools and universities compete across the country. Ivy League regattas such as Dad Vail in Philadelphia encourage rowing sports for both men and women.
Our friends who have moved from New York and the Northeast often comment on the lack of public access to water. We are often asked why a small, upscale residential community with a 10 mile lake does not have access to water.
The solution to this waterfront challenge is to establish a small kayak launch point at the newly constructed north (side) dock of Town Marina where large mega-ships will not be able to maneuver due to restrictions on clearance. A floating dock structure would allow quick, safe and easy access for small boats, away from mega-ships.
A possible storage for kayaks and paddleboards “residents only” of the city could be installed on the foreshore of the park of the lake behind large electrical cabinets and new foliage recently installed. The town’s marina staff – recently increased to three full-time employees – could manage the operation of the kayaks. The monthly âresidentâ fees for the kayaks would constitute an additional financial contribution to the city budget.
Of course, there is continued concern about non-Palm Beach people invading our little barrier island. Use of the kayaking area will be limited to residents with official stickers affixed to their automobiles and small boats and will be limited to parking in designated areas.
We were delighted to see an official comment from the city this week on the management of the new facility. Carolyn Stone, deputy city manager, said in a press release, âPalm Beach expects the best, and that’s what we’ll have when the fully renovated and fully renovated Marina opens. “
Of course, active water sports have a long and distinguished history in the city; let us give future generations the opportunity to continue to participate directly on our lakeside.
W. Bradford Gary is a resident of Palm Beach.