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The following letter was sent to Wakulla County Commission Chairman Ed Brimner and The News.
Editor, The News:
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office has been experiencing ongoing problems at the Wakulla River on Highway 365 and I have written several previous letters, which are attached. As previously stated, we have received numerous complaints, some of which are criminal, including but not limited to the following: littering, alcohol consumption by minors; assault and battery; destruction of measuring equipment, and I could go on. Some of these calls have resulted in arrests of individuals and they have been transported to the Wakulla County Jail.
The above described problems are creating a safety hazard and a very dangerous environment at this location that needs the immediate attention of the board.
There seems to be two different groups using this location. One I would classify as a boaters/fisherman group, and the other as a swimmers/young partying group. Frequently these two groups seem to come into conflict and fights occur. Swimmers jumping off the bridge could easily jump into a boaters/fisherman boat while landing. Also, these two groups seem to be at odds when alcohol is involved.
It is also important to note that both groups seem to very much enjoy recreating at this site.
In any case, it is my recommendation that the board immediately take action to first either close the ramp and fence off the bridge and roadway or to acquire the adjacent land for a park and provide safe parking and facilities for bathrooms and a boat ramp.
The fence should be erected to stop the litter, decrease crime, divert hazardous behavior and discontinue swimming at this location, which may save someone’s life.
I want to make it very clear that the sheriff’s office can respond and does respond to all calls at this location and will continue to do so. However, this will not, and I emphasize will not, solve this issue. The traffic safety committee has made numerous recommendations and I suggest the board immediately take action. The liability to the county and the dangers to our citizens are of utmost urgency.