I probably won’t do a story for the print edition on this e-mail we received. Still, I wanted to pass along the hard lesson some people learned about launching a boat at American Lake without paying the launch fee.
The email, which was sent by disgruntled Lakewood resident Morris Quimby, details his experience at the new boat launch a week after it opened.
If it’s true, I’m amazed at the $500 fine the city levies if you launch without paying the $10 fee. Ouch.
Here’s Quimby’s account. Note the last line in which he says he’s not one of the unfortunate boaters:
After taking more than a year and a half to finish the two month project the grand opening of the new launch was Saturday, the 16th. Folks who attended the grand opening told me there was no mention of a $10 launch fee and they launched for free that day.
On Saturday, the 23rd, I stopped by to see how the poorly engineered ramp was working out. I talked with two boaters who had $500, ” Failure to Pay Launch Fee”, tickets on their windshields when they came in off the water. I was told there were no signs indicating a launch fee was required and the $$$ taking machine was located in an out-of-the way, inconspicuous, spot.
Starting at the entrance gate I walked the inbound lanes to the bottom of the hill, finding no signs indicating a launch fee was required. At the bottom of the hill the lanes make a sharp turn to the left. On the right side of that corner, facing away from inbound traffic, sits the $$$ collection machine. The front of the machine can be seen in one’s rearview mirror after making the turn, providing the boat trailer is not blocking the view. It cannot be read from that distance. After making that turn one’s attention is taken up with the launching process. After launching, the out lanes go straight up the hill, out of visual on the $$$ collection machine. I walked to within 4 feet of the collection machine before I could read the sign on it
The public needs to be made aware of this ripoff. In the interest of fairness no more tickets should be issued until proper warning signs are posted where they can be seen. These signs should not only warn of the $10 launch fee, but also indicate the location of the $$$ collector. All tickets issued before that happens should be dismissed.
P.S. No, I didn’t get one of those $500 tickets.