Hearing set on adding walk-on fee at Jennette’s
A public hearing on charging a fee will be held in August.
The owners of two private piers in Nags Head have publicly complained that officials in Raleigh had broken a promise that the state-owned pier would not unfairly compete with them.
The local Jennette’s Pier Advisory Committee and Nags Head have been pushing for a walk-on fee at the new pier at Whalebone Junction. But state officials have countered that the pier is owned by state taxpayers, who should be allowed access.
Instead, walk-ons at Jennette’s, which is run by North Carolina Aquariums, are asked to make a donation in boxes at the pier’s entrance.
Fees for fishing are higher at Jennette’s than at the Nags Head Fishing Pier to north and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier to the south. But owners of the two private piers say they were promised that all fees at Jennette’s would be higher.
Bob Muller, the chairman of the advisory committee, met recently with Secretary Dee Freeman of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, David Griffin, North Carolina Aquariums director, and David Knight, assistant secretary of natural resources.
In a response released by Muller Wednesday, Knight said: “As part of his decision-making process, Secretary Freeman would like to hold a public hearing to receive citizen comments and input regarding the possible implementation of a walk-on fee at Jennette’s Pier.”
The hearing, he said, is scheduled for Aug. 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the pier.
“Comments received at the public hearing will be considered in his decision whether to implement a walk-on fee at Jennette’s Pier, or keep the current practice of accepting a donation to walk on the Pier,” Knight wrote.
On his visit to Raleigh, Muller presented the three officials with data demonstrating how free access to Jennette’s had negatively impacted the privately owned piers.
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