Joseph Phillips: Plagued by airboat noise on Orange Lake


Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.

Dear state Sen. Steve Oelrich:

I have read your comments regarding your refiling the Airboat Bill, SB 958. You stated: "The Marion County people who equally have half of the lake on their side, they didn't get a chance to vote, nobody in Marion County could vote, even though their land is up against Orange Lake, they were disenfranchised during this, and that brings up my point about one county can literally take away the rights and privileges of another county if they have a common border."

Sen. Oelrich, I have lived in McIntosh for forty years; You are right, the citizens in Marion County were unable to vote on the issue of noise generated by airboats on Orange Lake. My wife and I and other residents did, however, attend several Alachua County Commission meetings expressing our absolute support of the curfew of airboats on Orange Lake. My wife and I live four blocks from the edge of Orange Lake and I can tell you, Sir, the noise generated by the airboats at night is an absolute nuisance. Many times we have been waked up at two or three in the morning and had difficulty returning to sleep; there were also many nights when it was difficult to even fall asleep at ten or eleven o'clock due to the constant noise caused by the airboats revving the engines close to shore.

Since the ban took effect, we are once again able to enjoy peaceful nights as we did when we moved here in 1972. However, I must say the we have had to call the Alachua County Sheriff's Department numerous times to complain about the noise caused by a few who decided to defy the ban and run their airboats at night, in violation of the curfew. We want to maintain the tranquility of our historic town. For you to try and negate the will of the voters of Alachua County (and the wishes of the permanent residents of McIntosh) by introducing a bill that will overturn the airboat curfew is reprehensible.

Such acts as this are exactly why many people are so angry with government. Why on earth would you take it upon yourself to thwart the wishes of the people of Alachua County, who through the democratic process, voted to express their desires as citizens?

Joseph G. Phillips,

McIntosh

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