Taylor County Boat Ramps Now Open to All

The Taylor County Commission has amended its boat ramp ordinance. Now, everyone, not just county residents, can purchase an annual permit for $20 and use any boat ramp facility where the county charges for launching.

Allison Bishop, the assistant tax collector in Taylor County, says, "The way we looked at residency was whether they had homestead property or whether their driver license was of Taylor County, their address on their driver’s license and whether they can vote in Taylor County. Now, we have removed all of those requirements."

Some residents say it's a fair deal. Before, boaters who owned property on Taylor County beaches but lived in other areas had to pay a $5 fee each time they used the ramps.

Robert Paul Millard, a boat owner in Taylor County, says, "People that were avid fishermen that own property here still pay taxes here and they were still hit with a daily fee with the boat ramp. There's mixed emotions about it, but I agree with it."

The mixed emotions come from private businesses that told Eyewitness News it's hard to compete with the county's comparably cheap fees.

County officials though say the amendment is a win-win for all. Under the new ordinance, all proceeds from permit fees must be used for the operation and maintenance of the boat ramps in Taylor County under the jurisdiction of the board of county commissioners.