ROSS BARNETT RESERVOIR, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
On Wednesday, Pearl River Valley Water Supply District officials met with boat dealers concerned about a proposed user permit for boaters on the Reservoir.
The board says they are strapped for funds so they will have to institute a user fee, but want to give dealers input since they are on the water daily.
The fees would go to make upgrades to boat launches, docks, piers and other areas of the recreational waterway.
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Executive Director John Sigman says, "We wanna make it fair for people to appreciate the fact that they can contribute to upgrading the lake. We want to make the price fair, the breakdown of the prices fair. We just want everyone to be able to contribute."
Fees would possibly vary from $35 to $50 annually depending on boat size. Lease holders will likely get one permit sticker for free, because they are already taxed.
The dealers mostly want to ensure there won't be any negative effects from the fee implementation.
Duncan Marine Owner Eddie Smith says, "I don't think you're going to get any repercussions from that. Nothings fee this day and time. There's so much need her. It's all we have in our local area to use. I don't think you'll have a lot of problems with people paying a fee."
Once the final plan and a fee structure are completed there will be a public hearing about the issue.
The last time this issue was proposed, three years ago, the legislature did not approve the fees.