Marina Needs Pump Station for Boat Waste, Officials Say
City of Dunedin officials say providing boaters with the amenity of a sludge pump-out facility is needed to protect the environment. Vince Gizzi, director of parks and recreation, presented officials with a grant opportunity at Thursday's city meeting.
It’s about time that Dunedin boaters had a permanent pump-out station, city commissioners agreed Thursday when presented with a grant opportunity to have one installed at the marina downtown.
The pump-out station would provide a safe and environmentally-friendly way for boaters to remove waste from their vessel's holding tank and not be tempted to dispose of it in some illegal way, like dumping it into the water.
Vince Gizzi, director of parks and recreation, told officials at Thursday's city commission meeting that Dunedin has an opportunity to apply for a federally-funded grant, administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It could cover up to 75 percent of the estimated $60,000 cost to install the station, he said.
“It’s not just an amenity, it’s part of doing business as a marina to encourage boaters to use it,” said Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski, whose husband, Tom, learned of the grant from the Clearwater Harbormaster.
Dunedin’s Municipal Marina has 194 wet slips, of which 12 are commercial, nine are transient and 173 are recreational. The city has standing plans for major improvements to the Marina area, which is located at the westernmost side of downtown Main Street.
Commissioner Dave Carson said the city should provide a pump-out station as a boating necessity, regardless of the outcome of the grant possibility. He also suggested that the burden of installing the pumping station should not be borne solely on boat owners via the Marina Enterprise Fund, since everyone benefits from protecting the environment.
After it is installed, ongoing maintenance could be paid from the Marina fund, Carson suggested.
While city commissioners will have to decide from which budget the project would ultimately receive funding, officials agreed it is an amenity that should be provided.
Commissioners unanimously agreed that the city should pursue the grant opportunity.