Jacksonville Beach Pier Improvements
REASON FOR PETITION: The following interview was given just before the opening of the new pier and the following statements were made by The New Pier Management and we as pier Patrons/Anglers expect the management to abide by the statements that were made in the following Newspaper Interview in 2004 prior to the completion of the new Jacksonville Beach Pier.
Fishermen will be front and center at the new Jacksonville Beach Pier.
That's the word from the folks chosen to manage the 1,300-foot pier, which is expected to open around the end of November.
"That's our primary focus -- fishing," said Don Streeter, a partner in Dania Pier Management. "I think this thing is going to be awesome. There's nothing on the Florida East Coast that equals it in length."
Dania Pier Management operates piers in Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach and Juno. The company was awarded the contract after the city of Jacksonville put out bids to manage the pier. While several groups expressed interest, Dania Pier Management was the only respondent.
"We were doing our own research, talking to cities and counties [with privately managed piers]," said Debbie Doran, of the city's Department of Administration and Finance. "All of them were very pleased with Dania Pier Management."
The firm's contract runs for five years, with a provision to renew for another five years.
When plans for the new pier were first being developed, local fishermen expressed fears it might become not much more than a boardwalk designed to attract tourists. Not to worry, Streeter said.
"We're going to do everything we can to make it where the fisherman is the main priority," he said. "Whatever the fishermen want -- whether it's live shrimp, greenies. If it's available, we'll have it."
The pier's main building will house restrooms and a bait and tackle shop. Rental rods will be available, and popular pier lures and other tackle will be sold.
"All piers are different," Streeter said. "Here in Dania, they very rarely fish with plugs or lures. But in Juno, 80 percent of them use lures."
Streeter recently met with Doran, and he'll submit a list of recommendations, including admission fees and hours.
"They're in the business of operating piers, so I'm sure we'll look closely at their recommendations," Doran said.
Streeter's plans call for the same admission fees charged by the old pier. Ronnie Waterman, who once managed the old pier, said admission fees were $3.75 to fish, 75 cents to walk.
Streeter is also recommending that the new pier be open from one hour before sunrise to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, the closing time would be 11 p.m.
"That's the way we're going to start off, and if the demand is there, we'll extend the hours," Streeter said.
Dania Pier Management's Juno pier is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to sundown. The company's other two piers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Streeter, who plans to live in Jacksonville Beach at least temporarily, expects to hire several people to run the new pier.
The pier is expected to feature four fish-cleaning stations, two on each side. The original architect's plans included cleaning stations only on the north side, but Streeter recommended southside stations for use during colder months.
"If you've ever tried to clean fish facing into the wind during the winter ...," Streeter said. "The city has been very receptive to ideas. They're in agreement, if it benefits the pier and the fishermen, they're open to discussion."
The old Jacksonville Beach Pier held a popular annual tournament for surface and bottom species. Streeter said the new pier may also stage some kind of competition. Last year, on opening day of snook season, the Dania Pier conducted a $5 Calcutta pool for the first legal snook caught and the heaviest legal snook.
"If we get notice a good run of blues is coming down from the Carolinas, we might institute something like that," Streeter said.
Benches on the pier will be built back to back with space in between. Streeter has plans to install wind breaks that would fit in that space. Trash receptacles are scheduled to be emptied once a day.
We the undersigned Anglers, Patrons, Visitors and Taxpayers of The New Jacksonville Beach Pier are hereby petitioning the Pier Management to follow thru with the following statements made by Don Streeter to The Media: "We're going to do everything we can to make it where the fisherman is the main priority. Fishermen will be front and center at the new Jacksonville Beach Pier."
And, "Whatever the fishermen want -- whether it's live shrimp, greenies. If it's available, we'll have it."
Consider also extended hours of operation, costs compared to the old pier and a number of other requests geared to the Angler as well as The walk on visitors that are supporting and helping Pay for the New $3,500,000 Jacksonville Beach Pier.
The Jacksonville Beach Pier Improvements petition to Don Streeter was written by Joseph T. Dionne and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.