Barbour signs bill killing reservoir boating fee

The boating fee for Ross Barnett Reservoir is officially dead.

Gov. Haley Barbour today signed the appropriations bill funding the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District without change. The bill forced the District to repeal the fee, which was to be effective July 1.

Under the original legislation that created the reservoir in the 60s, the board had been given the power to create user fees, including boating. Reservoir officials said that until recent years, there had been no need for a permit program.

The fee, designed to offset rising costs of maintaining boating-related recreation infrastructure and enforcement, was to have become effective July 1. Over 3,500 permits had already been sold prior to a late change to the bill in mid-April, just prior to the end of the legislative session April 19.

Clarion Ledger