Oslo Boat Ramp proposal torpedoed by County Commission

COMMENTARY

The current Oslo Road Boat Ramp.

MILT THOMAS

After an overwhelming plea by the public to shut down any further consideration of improvements to the Oslo Road Boat Ramp, the County Commission voted 4-1 to kill it, not postpone it again.

Three years ago, faced with the same overwhelming public opposition to expanding that boat ramp, the Commission’s decided to postpone the issue  3-5 years. Exactly three years later, almost to the day, a new proposal was presented, an Oslo Road Boat Ramp “Lite.”

After staff presented background information on the proposal, Commissioner Joe Flescher addressed the staff report on a number of issues that indicated his doubts about the need or viability of any improvements. Chairman O’Bryan, strongest advocate for the original boat ramp upgrade and of the “lite” version, explained how he couldn’t launch his 22’ center console at the current ramp. Then a parade of environmentalists and scientists gave detailed reasons why any change to the boat ramp could do irreparable damage to the Lagoon and ecosystem.

Dr. Richard Baker, president of the Audubon Society, during his presentation, asked for a show of hands from the audience whether they approved or disapproved of the new modified boat ramp. Their  response was enough for Commissioner Solari to move for a vote on Option Four, killing any changes to the ramp. It was approved by a 4-1 margin, the only dissenter being Commissioner O’Bryan.

After option 4 was approved and applauded by the audience, then Option Five was proposed to pursue a joint venture with the city in creating a new boat ramp at the power plant site. That was subsequently approved by a 3-2 vote.

The only take away from both attempts to expand the Oslo Road Boat Ramp was why it came up in the first place. The voting public clearly did not want it and in this case their voice prevailed.

 

9 comments

  1. Milt, it was unanimous. Youth Sailing, IRNA, Coastal Conservation among others were well represented.
    I doubt we will see this issue again!
    Charlie

  2. Glad to hear this news! A viable alternative — at other location — is welcome. Our leaders may have few opportunities to preserve and protect our environment in IR County….especially since so many have their eyes on this pretty little paradise.

  3. Twana, TCPalm reports, “Solari’s motion to halt the project garnered four votes. Only Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan voted against killing the project.” Why do you believe the vote to kill the project was 5-0?

  4. Charlie, TCPalm reports, “Solari’s motion to halt the project garnered four votes. Only Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan voted against killing the project.” That doesn’t fit the definition of “unanimous.”

  5. Sorry, my observation was based on audience expression. When Dr Richard asked the audience for a vote pro/con it was very strong kill the bill.
    Charlie

  6. In my opinion ,this vote was a good step in healing the lagoon’s woes. Peter let down the majority of county voters because he put launching his 22 foot boat ahead of the residents wishes. Science be dammed, launching the 22 foot “SS Peter” is more important ! If I am not mistaken he will be up for re-election soon, AND we will remember.

  7. I am proud to be part of the representation of CCA treasure coast. 分Today was a rally for our lagoon, the intelligence of so many was brought forward to speak , and our genuine interest in the river and fisheries was voiced and sparred for now. I hope Indian River County residents recognize how much all of us care for the river. Thank you all who put so much effort and love to save a native fisherie on the Oslo flats!

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