Palma Sola Boat Ramp remains closed

Palma Sola Boat Ramp remains closed
The Palma Sola Boat Ramp on the south end of the causeway will remain closed until repairs are funded and can be made. - Kristin Swain | Sun

PALMETTO – The Palma Sola Boat Ramp remains closed as Manatee County officials seek funding to make necessary repairs.

The issue of the closed boat ramp was broached by Bradenton Ward One Councilman Gene Gallo during a Manatee County Council of Governments meeting. Gallo said he’d received several complaints about the ramp being closed and questioned why no work had been done on the boat ramp since it was taken over by Manatee County officials earlier in the year.

There are several issues with the small boat ramp, typically used for smaller watercrafts such as Jet Skis and small recreational boats. Gallo said one issue is the ramp’s location, located in the southwest corner of the causeway next to a condominium complex on Flamingo Cay. Due to the location of the ramp, it’s hard for a sailboat to get any wind to launch at the site. Sand also washes into the boat ramp, making it difficult to launch any watercraft. Gallo suggested moving the boat ramp to the east side of the parking lot and digging a small channel to the ramp to allow for the easier launch of watercraft.

“If we’re going to do it, we need to do it right,” he said.

Charlie Hunsicker, Director of Parks and Natural Resources, said that to move the boat ramp would potentially require extensive seagrass mitigation, making a move cost-prohibitive for the county. During an Aug. 13 work session on county boat ramps, he said a presentation is scheduled to give a comprehensive report on the project, including immediate plans to make repairs to the boat ramp, lower the docks to ADA standards and reopen the boat ramp as soon as possible.