Yearly set rates with lottery system for access at park
(Feb. 5, 2021) Tucked away along the edge of Chincoteague Bay, Public Landing is an unincorporated 6.5-mile gem. At the end of Maryland Route 365 and approximately six miles east of Snow Hill, Public Landing offers a lighted pier, benches, a modest pavilion, boat moorings and shallow waters for swimming and crabbing.
Still, Tom Perlozzo, Worcester County’s director of Recreation and Parks, Tourism & Economic Development, believes Public Landing has more to offer. He hopes to draw visitors to Public Landing by developing 30 new boat slip rentals.
On Tuesday, Perlozzo asked the Worcester County Commissioners to approve the rental of 10 12-foot and 20 15-foot slips, which will then be offered to the public by lottery system. The slips can accommodate residential and commercial boats of up to 25 feet in length.
Commissioner Theodore Elder moved to approve the rental rates and wondered if a bid process may be more advantageous than setting a rental rate. Perlozzo said he believes set rates are more appropriate to maintain a “park atmosphere versus a commercial venture.”
Twelve- and 15-foot slips will be offered at a set yearly rate of $800 and $1,000 respectively. While many comparable slip rates in Ocean City have skyrocketed to more than double the proposed annual rate at Public Landing, Perlozzo is likely to see a windfall of names in the hat for a future lottery.
The Department of Recreation and Parks project will be funded by a Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant that covers 100 percent of its cost. Perlozzo said the funds will cover completion of the parking lot, electrical work and installation of a pump station that was paid for by a $19,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
When Commissioner Chip Burtino worried about the site’s security Perlozzo indicated that surveillance cameras will be installed. However, the boat slips will not be secured by fencing, nor will there be a harbor master. Bertino confirmed with Perlozzo that the rental contract will state that any liability will be the responsibility of the boat owner, not the county.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the boat slip rental at Public Landing. A completion date for the newly approved project is yet to be determined.