SNEADS, FL 1/27/2012 --
There's a growing controversy over a boat ramp in Jackson County. County commissioners reopened it to the public, after the landowner blocked access.
Boaters and fishermen in Jackson County once again have access to a boat ramp off Gadsden Trail in Sneads that leads to the Apalachicola River.
Crews had to clear a barricade Wednesday from the road leading to it put up by the landowner.
"The public's always had access to that," said Jackson County Road and Bridge Superintendent Al Green.
Green said it's been that way since 1977. That's when the county approached the old port authority, offering to build and maintain the ramp, as well as oversee the upkeep of Gadsden Trail.
"By prescriptive right, we feel like the public still and should have that access going in and out of there," said Green.
But current landowner Richard Hull seemed to think differently. Green said Hull told county commissioners there was criminal activity taking place at the site, so a few weeks ago he put up the blockade to prevent any access.
"He felt like the property was his, he owned it, he had the deed to it and that that wasn't an issue, the prescriptive right thing," said Green.
The blockade is down for now, but the issue may ultimately end up in front of a judge, and county commissioners set up an executive session next month to discuss possible legal action.