Use of new city dock sparks controversy

by Marianne Gasaway

On a 4-1 vote, the Clear Lake City Council approved an ordinance Monday night intended to limit commercial use of the new Main Street/Sea Wall dock.

The Council introduced the ordinance at its July 20 meeting and forwarded it to the Parks Board for review and recommendations. Monday night’s action represented a blend of ideas.

“The intent of the new dock is for recreational use for all visitors and citizens… It was not installed for exploitation and abuse for commercial gain,” said Councilman Gary Hugi.  Vehicle congestion and limited parking have also become a problem in the area due to the public renting commercial boats there.

Hugi referenced Movement Solutions, from Clear Lake, and said the business has been regularly using the boat ramp and dock as a place for customers to pick up and drop off boats.

“This business didn’t even ask for approval to use this dock— not once to anybody on the Council or in this administration that I’m aware of,” Hugi continued.  “What proof do we have of insurance that will hold the City harmless if there should be an accident or damage to the dock caused by their renters and watercraft?  Simply put, my suggested solution to your problem is to find a parcel of land on the lake, purchase the land and put in your own dock, and not rely exclusively on city dock and resources for your business.”

Councilman Mike Callanan agreed with Hugi, saying he had received public complaints of Movement Solutions mooring five to seven pontoons on many days and conversations with business owner Jim Flick had not resulted in any change.

“This dock was never meant to be a staging area.  It is for use by Clear Lake citizens and our visitors,” said Callanan.

Three persons attended the meeting for the opportunity to speak to the Council about the proposed ordinance.

Walt Muskovich, Bob Wolfram and former Councilman Jim Boehnke were each critical of commercial use of the dock, saying they have seen increased congestion, resulting in a lack of parking and

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