Dredging Battle Over

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

The battle over dredging the bayou next to the Carrabelle River may have started in Carrabelle, but it ended at the Capitol.

The governor issued a permit for dredging, and the city decided it will not appeal.

The Carrabelle Boat Club is a brand new, state of the art marina.

There is one problem: the water around it is pretty shallow and some times, the big boats can't reach it.

Administrative Manager Christina Alday said, "Just during the winter months at low tide and when the wind is blowing in a particular direction is the only time it would've been really a problem."

So the managers drew up plans to dredge part of the canal towards the river and that's when the battle began.

The city says their dredging went far beyond the comp plan.

Mayor of Carrabelle Mel Kelly said, “Dredging of previously un-dredged natural water bodies shall be prohibited.”

In a city with a little more than 1000 residents, this was a hot topic for debate.

"The fact that it has become a sadly divisive economic development issue is of great concern to me as the mayor, as I’m sure it is to the rest of the commission," said Mayor Kelly.

The city says the issue was not environmental it was legal because of the comp plan they could not allow the dredging, so the club took its fight all the way to the governor's office, with the governor giving the project the go ahead.

The city backed down on the fight, and now the dredging plans are on the fast track. The city did have a chance to fight the governor's permit, but the deadline on that ran out last week, so you can expect dredging to take place some time in the next 60 days.


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