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Hillsborough County plans to remove 13 derelict boats from Williams Boat Ramp

Posted at 3:40 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 17:49:44-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Broken, faded and rusted boats are taking over the second largest boat ramp in Hillsborough County.

A spokesperson for the county says they have 13 derelict boats they are working to remove from the Alafia River at Williams Boat Ramp, just outside Gibsonton.

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"Everybody up here talks about it,” said Jason Bush, “when are they going to get these out of here.”

The county tells us the derelict boats have grown in number, and by January, they plan to start removing them.

The reasons for the boats being abandoned all vary, but the county has had to take their time to try and find the owners of these vessels. They said they need to find the owners before moving forward with removing them.

Along with financial concerns on what it will cost, the county says there are strict guidelines on removing them, and environmental concerns.

The county plans to work with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Hillsborough’s environmental agency to assist on making sure proper guidelines are followed.

Earlier this summer, the county reopened Williams Boat Ramp after closing it for renovations.

The county spent $700,000 on the project that included fixing the fishing pier, boat docks and the park.

“They redid everything, and the sign says new boat dock, and you come down here and all you’re looking at is sinking boats,” said Bush.

The county will open up bids in January for companies to give estimates on the cost. They plan to remove the boats in sets of three after the first of the year.

It is expected to take an entire year to remove the sinking boats.