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Author Topic: New Law Proposed  (Read 456 times)

Lipripper

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New Law Proposed
« on: March 31, 2018, 06:18:59 PM »

EMMET COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)

If you're one of the thousands of people in Michigan who owe a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, you could have some extra fees next year.
That's if a new proposal from the Michigan State Waterways Commission becomes law.
It would make it mandatory to get all of those smaller paddle crafts registered.
The commission says money from the registrations would go towards improving access to waterways and safety out on the water.
The registrations could end up costing between five and ten dollars each.
The waterways commission says some of that money would go towards helping boost marine patrols for local law enforcement.

Emmet County Sheriff Peter Wallin says marine budgets can be tight.
"It’s a very popular sport, these kayakers out there and we’re seeing more and more and more of them and unfortunately accidents do happen," Wallin said. "We get a lot of calls for overturned kayakers or just kayaks, just the boats and nobody around so obviously we’ve got to spend time to see if there was somebody involved, if there was a drowning.”
Sheriff Wallin says one search for a missing kayaker last year cost multiple departments several thousands of dollars.
Adding the paddle registrations wouldn't affect rentals, since they already have to register their boards and kayaks.
“This is not going to affect any rental, any legitimate rentals out there," said Gary Hunter, the general manager of the Bahnhof Ski Shop in Petoskey, which rents kayaks and paddle boards. "It’s going to affect the private kayaker.”

While the registrations wouldn't hurt business for Gary Hunter at Bahnhof, as an owner of 12 paddle boats, he thinks the registrations would be unnecessary.
“A lot of people paddle on inland waterways or on rivers, and I don’t see the safety patrols being on a river unless their called there." Hunter said. "As far as maintaining things, paddlers as a whole, at least in Michigan, they’re really clean people.”

The Michigan State Waterways Commission will be discussing the idea more at its next meeting on April 25 in Lansing.
That meeting will be open to the public.
The commission says the state's boat registration rates haven't been changed since 1993.
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