Friday, April 17, 2015

Rez User Fee Going Into Effect

Below is a Friday afternoon Press Release from the PRVWSD.  Friday afternoon is always a good time to impart bad news.
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Barnett Reservoir Board passes lake user fee

RIDGELAND — Beginning Oct. 1 2015, boaters on Ross Barnett Reservoir will be required to pay a lake user fee under a plan passed Thursday by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board of Directors.
According to Board President Jack Winstead, all funds raised from the user fee will be directed to a special revenue fund and be used only for recreational enhancements on the aging lake.
“Ross Barnett Reservoir is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and while we celebrate this milestone we must also realize that a lot of infrastructure is aging and in need of renovation or repair,” Winstead said. “To this point, our leaseholders have shouldered all the financial burden, but under this plan all lake users will contribute to maintaining and improving our facilities.”
It is estimated that about 30,000 boats are registered within the five counties that surround Barnett Reservoir — Hinds, Leake, Madison, Rankin, and Scott counties. PRVWSD officials estimate that the lake user fee could generate about $250,000 to $300,000 annually.
These funds would be used to update boat ramps, increase or replace navigational aids and improve shore support facilities. When possible, they can be matched with federal funding arranged through cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
“Two good examples of what $250,000 can do are the recently completed projects at Fannin Landing with a breakwater and new comfort station, and the renovation at Goshen Springs Landing on Mississippi Highway 43,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD general manger. “These were both $1 million projects that required a 25 percent match on our end.”
Winstead and Sigman both said stake holders and user groups would be involved in all aspects of the planning of projects, and added that reservoir officials have discussed the lake user fee with several such groups and have found nearly universal support.
According to PRVWSD officials, boaters paying the lake user fee will be issued a decal to be placed on the bow of the watercraft near the required State registration number and decal. Registrants will have the option of purchasing an annual permit or a three-year permit. A shorter-term 10-day permit will also be available for visitors.
The fees rates are:
* Boats under 26 feet — $35 annual, $90 for three years.
* Boats 26 feet and above — $50 annual, $135 for three years.
* 10-day, any size, consecutive days — $10.
Decals will be good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
The only vessels excluded from the user fees are paddleboards, sail boards, kayaks, canoes and approved towable devices, plus boats operated by law enforcement, fire/rescue, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and PRVWSD workboats.
Sigman said that registration would be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“That way, anybody anywhere who decides, even on the spur of the moment, that they want to fish or boat on Barnett Reservoir will have the opportunity to go online and pay, and our officers on the water will have access to the system to check and say, ‘Yes, you are good to go,’” Sigman said. “They then would receive their decals by mail.”
The Board’s action on Thursday begins a 30-day comment period. To find the proposed rule, visit therez.ms.

Comments may be sent to comments@therez.ms.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Need a membership card or something, especially for lease holders that have been and will continue to pay lease fees...decals for all my vessels will run $330/year or $855 for 3 years. That's not going to happen, especially when MDWFP registrations for those is only $30 a year (2 don't have engines but will cost the same per Rez rules).

Anonymous said...

I have 2 small jet skis how is the
price of $35 for 26ft compare. That is not fair at all.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is a "comment period" after the fact good for?
Wow...

Anonymous said...

Does this fee apply to current leaseholders?
Also, what are the boundaries for the reservoir?

Anonymous said...

How will this new law be enforced?
Where will they check for decals? At boat launches...marinas?
What's the penalty for non-compliance?
Where do boaters go to register for the comment period?
Several unanswered questions.
Thanks,
A lease holder.

Griffith said...

I want to know how many of the board members pay lease fees and have boats. Obviously they don't think they will get enough money unless they double tax (the lease holders) This is another good reason for us to become a town so WE (the lease holders) can elect our officials.
Somehow we need to standup and fight this wrong we are still paying the brunt of these expenses It should be acceptable that non lease holders pay a fee for use. As a Lease holder & property Tax payer I've seen the mess left behind for the park service to clean up & they should reseave additional compensation, so use the guard huts already in place. And charge away

Anonymous said...

This is a tax yes, a tax) that, once put in place, will never go away. Another example of a government agency expanding to make sure it spends all of the income it receives, and then squealing for more funding. We do not need more government, especially one that is governing with officials who were not elected. The State should come up with a formula for leaseholders to buy out their leases and then leave PRV with the business of managing a lake. So far PRV has only proved that it is good at spending more than they should, and possibly reaching beyond the bounds of their legal limits.

Anonymous said...

Love how
A- as thereznews said, it was a Fri afternoon dump
and
B- doesn't go into effect until AFTER main boating season
very sly moves, PRV

Anonymous said...

The PRVWSD is a State agency but yet they don’t receive any state funding? What does it take to maintain the Rez annually? All the lease holders, where does that money go? Does the city of Jackson still pay $500,000 a year for water supply? Why not convert the Spillway into a Hydro generator and produce Electricity? Why claim 30,000 boats registered and it only generate $250,000 to $300,000 annually, because at a $35 minimum it would be a Million dollars. I would like to see the “so called improvements” done with a loan first or set up a business plan that shows what it would take to pay off those improvements in a given time with a schedule of the improvements.
My current boat registration allows me to be on public waters correct? So as long as in the Pearl River channel I’m good?

Anonymous said...

Q. Why are leaseholders not exempt?

A. The lease payment is for property on which your home or business is located.That payment entitles leaseholders to nothing more than the right to place their home or business on that piece of property. Granting exceptions to leaseholders creates a
separate class within the class of boaters, and that is illegal. The 1986 court decisions clearly found that lease payments may not be used for services, therefore to provide an
exception for leaseholders is counter to this court order and thus illegal.


Anonymous said...

And thus a bunch of crap. Notice that the prv patrol, which was a service for leaseholders, still exists, as does fire protection. And how does anon 9:33 explain a discount to folks who bought a Rez tag?

chris said...

i'm all for the boater's fee. yes, i pay leasehold fees also. i would like to see it extended to kayaks and canoes (they use the boat ramps and litter the same as motor boaters). thirty five bucks is a cheap price to pay for one day of water activities, much less 365 days. i don't see what the fuss is about, you own a boat that cost between 1000-100,000 bucks, and you whine over 35...maybe for the owners of multiple boats prv could issue a badge or something to carry from boat to boat...