Perryville doubles number of out-of-state boat permits
— Out-of-state residents will have a better shot at securing a launch permit when boating season returns next year after the mayor and commissioners voted on Tuesday night to double the number available.
The approved resolution will allow town hall to sell up to 50 of the permits, which give boaters who live outside Maryland unlimited use for $50. Those without the seasonal permits must pay $10 each day to use the town launch on Roundhouse Drive. In-state residents can purchase a seasonal pass for $25 or spend $5 for a daily permit.
The mayor and commissioners’ decision to change the language in the code to allow up to 50 out-of-state permits means the town will now issue twice the 25 permits it currently does when they become available starting the first business day in January.
“I like the 50,” said Mayor Jim Eberhardt. “It solves the problem. We were not issuing the number of outof-state permits that were in demand.”
Each January, Perryville quickly sells out of those 25 out-of-state permits, to the consternation of those left behind. Their only alternative is to head to town hall and purchase the daily pass.
However, that too is about to change. The board has also agreed to install an honor box for a one-year trial period. Eberhardt said the honor box may solve the outof-state issue.
“We may not need as many out-of-state permits with the honor box,” he said, hinting that perhaps the number could go back to 25.
Commissioner Michelle Linkey also likes increasing the numbers.
“It’s very important to be a good neighbor to our in-state and out-of-state boaters,” Linkey said.
That includes keeping the price the same as Port Deposit’s boat launch. She added, she would not be in favor of simply having daily launch sales.
“For those people who truly use it, we don’t want to gouge,” Linkey said. “If we wanted just to make money, we’d just have the honor box.”
The internal work group charged with studying the honor box system is expected to make its presentation on the hardware itself at the December town meeting.
Perryville hopes to have the same success as Port Deposit, whose honor box brought in more than $21,000 in fiscal year 2015. In the first year, Perryville anticipates collecting $13,000.
Perryville officials first discussed raising the number of out-of-state permits in 2011. Then-commissioner Michael A. Dawson wanted boaters to have easy access to the facility regardless of their address. Another commissioner at the time, Barbara Brown, said a work group charged with setting the initial fees kept the out-ofstate permit number low for fear of town residents being locked out and the town being overrun with out-of-state boat trailers.
Perryville will now sell up to 50 seasonal permits to out-of-state boaters beginning Jan. 3, 2017. Next month the plans for a honor box — similar to this one used in Port Deposit — will be explained to the mayor and commissioners.