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.