Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Privatization of Neighborhood Boat Ramps is Happening

The boat ramp in Forest Point Subdivision has been leased to the Forest Point Homeowners Association, thus closing access to non-members.  This is a trend that began with private boat ramps in newer subdivisions like Fox Bay, and continued with the closure of the Safe Harbor launch. The next step is to now close smaller ramps in subdivisions which have long been open to the public.

Jim McDowell warned us of this long ago in June of 2011 with this blog post.
The parks were once private, designated for the use of the residents of the subdivision where the park was located.  The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District even issued bumper stickers to residents so the Reservoir Patrol could identify park users.

In 1987 the PRVWSD settled a law suit that had been in the courts for a number of years.  The result of that settlement caused many changes for area residents.  Law and Fire protection was stopped by the PRVWSD,  the local county or municipality picked up that responsibility.  The PRVWSD also stopped providing street maintenance and garbage pickup.  The mini parks were also a casualty - what was once used as a marketing tool to lure property buyers, your own private boat launch/park, was taken away and turned into a public facility.

The parks are now a big problem for neighborhoods.  More boat owners plus the explosive growth in the number of jet ski's has caused in increase in demand for launch facilities. Summer weekends see a huge increase in traffic in and out of these parks.
More recently, Brian Broom with the Clarion Ledger heralded the changes in this article from June.
Other small ramps may also be closed to the general public. Sigman said the Barnett Reservoir board of directors recently approved a plan to lease the Forest Point boat ramp and park to the neighborhood homeowners association. The same may be done in other neighborhoods.
 For neighborhood residents, leasing the ramps means less outside traffic. For Barnett Reservoir, the $25 lease of a park or boat ramp doesn't generate appreciable income, but it's still beneficial.
"What the district gets out of leasing a ramp and park is we no longer have to maintain them," Sigman said. "You're talking small amounts of money, but it is reducing our maintenance effort."
Individually, the ramps cost little to maintain, but collectively, the costs and labor add up. "There are probably 15 of those neighborhood ramps like that," Sigman said.
Even so, Sigman said it's more about the residents. "The bigger issue is the quality of life for the people who live in the subdivisions," Sigman said.
While there is potential for future neighborhood ramp leasing, Sigman pointed out that there are 14 other public ramps outside of the neighborhoods and the savings in labor and money can go toward maintaining and improving them. 


Anonymous said...

NEVER make the mistake of assuming the PRVWA is here to serve the public....

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank PRV, and Mr. Sigman for letting us lease the Forest Point park and boat ramp. We believe that this action will eliminate most of our problems in our subdivision. Speeding fishermen and people pulling boats have been a problem every since i'ved lived here. It will be nice to be able to take little ones to the park without the worry of them stepping on a fishhook or stumbling on drug paraphernalia. The litter will not be a factor. Maybe this will also cut down on the abusers of the no wake zones, that are destroying our seawalls along the shore leading from the boat ramp. Thanks again PRV and Mr. Sigman! Ya'll have done an awesome job!

Chris Campbell

Anonymous said...

Put In force a hiring freez, then freeze all salaries and disband their Police. This will stop the widening and deepening of the trough that is fed by our taxes.

Lees Yancey was right!

HandiMann said...

The PRVWSD charges me $600 per year for my 1/8 acre lot (in addition to county property taxes) and then charges a measly $25 for an entire boat ramp and park!? Perhaps the PRVWSD should be eliminated and this area annexed into Flowood or incorporated into a city. No more leased land!

The Garrott Hearsay said...

PRV has an obligation to work with residents to improve the area. What PRV did in cooperation with the FPHOA was simply a cooperative effort to improve the safety, begin to Inhance the property values, and provide for a path for improvements in the area. It was a classic example of a partnership between two interested parties. Other subdivisions should expand their vision and work together to make The Rez
One of the most desirable middle class neighborhoods in our metro. Thanks to John Sigman and PRV.

Anonymous said...

While I understand the benefits and support the people in the subdivisions in wanting a safe and clean neighborhood, I don't understand how it can be equitable to lease water-front, million dollar real estate to a small group of individuals for their personal use for $25 per year, while I pay hundreds a year to PRV for the lease on a lot for my home which is south of Lake Harbor Drive - hundreds of yards from the water. PRV has never had to maintain my property, so my lot lease should be pennies.

Also, what are the criteria for organizations that wish to lease their own parks? Can I lease my own park for $25 a year? That would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Amen. I totally agree.