Anybody missing a boat? A really ugly boat?
Concerned Reader Willie called to say there is a boat on the side of a vacant lot on Langdon Street in his neighborhood, and he wants it out of there. He described it as a "shell of a boat," and as you can see it's a fairly accurate description. It looks to be an old skiff or john boat. It has a couple of places to sit and a live bait well. (For those of you who don't fish, a live bait well is where anglers ice down their beer.)
The boat has seen better days, and I'm not sure it would make it across the river, much less very far up or down it. (That said, there are a few people I'd like to see take it through Cutbait.)
Willie said he called the city's 311 line, and they told him to call the police. They told him to call someone else. They probably didn't tell him to call me, but that's what he did.
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"Is there anything you can do?" Willie asked. "It's been there for about three weeks and it's an eyesore in the neighborhood."
I did what the 311 operator should have done, which is to call the Special Enforcement Division, which is managed by Drale Short. Special Enforcement is in charge of enforcing local and state environmental laws, dealing with, among other things, dumping ugly boats on the side of the road.
Short said she was not aware of anyone having reported the boat, but that she would send someone out to look into it. The boat is on a vacant lot, so she will have to find out who owns the property and try to get in touch with them and see if it's their boat. If it is, she will tell them to do something else with it.
"If they won't remove it, then we'll have to contract with someone to do it," Short said.
And lest you think this is a good opportunity to get yourself a free boat, I would advise against just going and getting it. For one, it would likely make a more effective anchor than boat. Two, it might be considered theft. And three, I will remind you of the words of a good friend, philosopher and former boat owner, Billy Winn, who famously said, "Life is too short to own an ugly boat."
Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.