Lake Austin task force recommends boater fees


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 16 at 10:43 PM

AUSTIN --- The Lake Austin task force agreed on a number of recommendations Monday evening to pass along to the Austin City Council for approval. 

One of the recommendations is to begin charging boat users to launch at the city’s four public boat ramps including Walsh Landing and Emma Long Park which are now free. 

“I think that certainly there will be some push back on some of our recommendations. I think that change can always be difficult,” said Ellen Witt, a member of the Lake Austin task force.

Fees collected from the boat ramps with city approval would be used, among other things, to combat Hydrilla, an aggressive, invasive and non-native species which is taking over close to one-third of Lake Austin. 

Some of the money would be used to repair parking lots at some of the city’s boat ramps like the one at Walsh Landing. 

“To a certain degree I'm very supportive of it but I just don't think it needs to be too costly to a family that's already paying for gas, paying for food, water, all that to come out here. I think reasonable would be something like $5,” said Geromi Trudeau who works at Boat Town. 

The Lake Austin task force has not settled on a fee recommendation, however, members did take a look at the $10 that Travis County is charging boaters to put in at the 360 Bridge dock. 

The city is hosting a public hearing on the recommendations for later this month.

The Lake Austin task force could marry input from the public hearing with their own recommendations which are due to the City Council in May.