Clermont backing away from putting boat ramp at preserve
The city of Clermont won’t make a decision about where to relocate the new city boat ramp until October, but it appears that officials are backing away from the idea of putting it at Lake Hiawatha Preserve because of strong public objections.
The city has to relocate the boat ramp because part of the site is to be used for the Victory Pointe regional stormwater system and park, now under construction. The rest of the site is scheduled to be taken for the construction of Triathlon Beach, being built with the idea of bringing athletic events closer to downtown.
The last time the boat ramp was on the Clermont City Council agenda was Aug. 8. The audience at that meeting made it clear that they considered the proposed site at Lake Hiawatha Preserve to be a bad idea. Councilman Keith Mullins was the only one to say he would like to keep the Lake Hiawatha option “on the counter.”
“We don’t want to be bad neighbors,” City Manager Darren Gray said in a recent phone interview.
The relocation vote was re-scheduled for Tuesday to allow time for the city manager, the county manager and the Lake County Water Authority executive director to sit down and discuss options, including the option of replacing the Clermont ramp with one that is not physically in Clermont. That meeting was scheduled. Then Hurricane Irma came, so the meeting was rescheduled, finally taking place last Thursday.
Following that three-way discussion, the city sent out a notice that the council discussion was being delayed until Oct. 10 and that “the Clermont City Council has determined not to proceed with the Lake Hiawatha site for the boat ramp location.”