and August….. and even September…..
Okay, if you follow me on Naturecoaster.com, you’ve already read something about this.
But, I cleaned it up for Naturecoaster. None of my pithy comments or wry personal observations.
There are a couple of big draws back here for visitors to Old Homosassa. (besides the Freezer, of course.)
The first is manatee season. No, you can’t catch and eat a manatee. But we do get a lot of tourists back here in the winter that want to swim with the manatees. Or kayak with them. Or touch them. Or ride them. (both of those last two are illegal)
And the other big event is scallop season.
Such a fun time in Old Homosassa for all those that get out into the Gulf and scoop those future delicious morsels out of the sea grass.
Also a boon for our local businesses which is a very good thing for Old Homosassa because they are owned by our friends and neighbors who in turn employ people from our community. No chain restaurants or stores in Old Homosassa!
But everything isn’t sunshine and roses for the local residents.
This pic is from a traffic back up last year. All the way back to the Homosassa Elementary School. This year at 7:30 in the morning on opening day, traffic was backed up all the way to Kevin Jenkins art studio. And vehicles were driving in the wrong lane to get around the jam while other vehicles were heading out of Homosassa. Very scary.
Several years ago Citrus County started having employees from the Parks and Recreation department direct traffic at the county boat ramp in Old Homosassa on the weekends. This alleviated a lot of the congestion and some of the arguing at the boat ramp as visitors attempted to put their boats into the river or pull them out. Kind of made it boring for Terry and I because we used to bike down there on Saturday mornings just to watch the launch battles!
But there were still too many trucks and trailers to park in the county parking lot. A few businesses and several home owners with large yards allow trucks and trailers to park for a fee.
But still, not enough parking on any Saturday during scallop season.
This is supposed to be a two-lane road. Not during scallop season! Wondering how a fire truck would maneuver around these obstacles plus dealing with oncoming traffic if there was an emergency.
And if the fire truck got through? The fire hydrant is blocked! Along with the gates into the elementary school. And they are parked on our SIDEWALK! We don’t have many and they aren’t supposed to be used as a parking lot!
Here’s another one on the sidewalk.
Note the “No Parking Here to Corner”. The corner is where that stop sign is. Two boats and trailers!
The board of directors of the Homosassa Civic Club decided that it was time to come up with a solution for this ongoing problem. After talking with owners of some of the local businesses and a meeting with Sheriff Prendergast, the board decided that part of the civic club property could be used for parking.
Our first youth group benefiting from helping out with the parking is the “Unstoppable Student Ministries” from the First Baptist Church of Homosassa. This Saturday will be their third time–they are raising funds to go to camp next year! They should already be pretty close to their goal!
Terry and I worked the parking lot on one Sunday. One guy, in his $40,000 truck and $30,000 boat objected very loudly to paying $10 to park so went and parked at the school in front of the fire hydrant. Really.
Streets clear, local youth groups earning money for their causes, and the smart scallopers won’t be getting tickets!