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Commercial watermen asked to pay fee for using Perrin Wharf

Few commercial watermen are paying a fee to use the refurbished Perrin Wharf, officials said during a meeting June 13.

“Change is difficult for those folks,” said Lewis Lawrence, executive director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, During a meeting of the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority at the MPPDC office in Saluda.

However, it is important that the watermen begin paying to use a slip or to offload their catch at the pier, he said, since that will raise money to maintain pier and to add features like a portable toilet.

The authority has set up a decal system, Lawrence said, which includes one type decal for slip use ($100 per month) and another decal to offload catch without overnight use ($20 per year).

The facility has slips for nine boats, he said, and most are being used regularly by local watermen who have not gotten a permit.

“The working watermen are very important to the local economy,” Lawrence said, and...

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