The Ole Seagull


Is the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo about to be shattered by a 1500 HP Jet Boat?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the March 31st, 2017

The peaceful, quiet, and relaxing nature of Lake Taneycomo is unique. There’s nothing else like it in Branson for visitors to enjoy.  “Most come to Lake Taneycomo for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, leisurely boat rides, and to relax at one of its lakeside resorts. They do not come for ‘thrill rides” or the recreational sports that many go to Table Rock Lake for,” said Lamar Patton, the owner of Scotty’s Trout Dock. The quiet relaxing character of Lake Taneycomo could be about to change forever!

For at least the last two years, Branson Jet Boats [LLC] has been operating under the public’s radar, to bring a “shattering” new experience to the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo. When it goes into operation, the Ole Seagull believes it will be with a 37 x 12 foot Jet Boat powered by three 400 HP Ford Predator Engines with an additional three 100 HP Hamilton Waterjets. The boats bench seating is expected to seat 60 or more, depending on size, and operate up to eight trips per day out of Branson Landing.

For what it matters, the Ole Seagull is not against the new attraction, per se. He doesn’t know enough about it, or its impact on the environment, the resort and property owners along Lake Taneycomo, safety, and many other factors, to either be for or against it. What he is against is the way something of this import could get this far without a public hearing or the opportunity for input from the businesses and property owners that will be impacted.

Here are some questions he would have liked answered before the project had gotten this far, and certainly before it goes into operation. Some might be rhetorical, but here we go:

Could there be a reasonable perception that Branson Jet Boats LLC doesn’t want a public hearing?

Would you consider the operation of a 60 passenger plus, 37 x 12 foot Jet Boat powered by 1,500 HP going up and down Lake Taneycomo, between Branson Landing and Rockaway Beach, up to 16 times a day compatible with the fishing, relaxation, and peacefulness for which this section of the Lake is noted?

Has anyone from Branson Jet Boats LLC had the common decency to contact the resort owners whose businesses that will be impacted by the boats operation for their input?

Are there any regulations in place, either Federal, State, City, or County that regulates such a drastic use change on Lake Taneycomo?

Has there been any environmental or other study on the impact of the boat’s operation, in terms of noise, economic impact on the resorts currently on the lake, the Bald Eagles, or one of Missouri’s’ largest Heron Rookeries?

Is it true that, at this stage, the jet boat operation is moving forward while the agencies and entities that should be looking out for the safety and environmental interests of the public and their customers are pulling a Pontius Pilate and washing their hands of it?

When discussing the proposed jet boat operation out of Branson Landing, did the City of Branson’s Planning and Development Director Joel Hornickel say, “When we looked to what they were proposing, a boat dock, that is an allowed use at the Landing?”

Is Branson Jet Boat LLC, proposing “a boat dock” or the operation of a 60 passenger thrill ride on Lake Taneycomo that will operate out of a dock?

Will the boat for that thrill ride, in fact be a 37 x 12 foot Jet Boat powered by 1,500 HP; three Ford Raptor 400 HP engines plus three 100 HP Hamilton Water Jets?

Is it true that, while loaded and traveling at idle speed, the boat will have a draft of close to two feet?

Did Hornickel say, “Since there is no utility connection between the dock and the shore, no building permit is necessary?”

Isn’t the “boat dock” going to be a commercial boat dock, sitting out on Lake Taneycomo, connected to Branson Landing by a ramp that hundreds of people will be walking on each day?

If there’s no “utility connection” then there is no requirement for a building permit in Branson? OK, so that has nothing to do with the Jet Boat, but just had to ask.”

Did Branson Mayor Karen Best make a recent Facebook comment saying that she had talked to the owner and that “He did not know kids from Kanakuk are in Lake Taneycomo?”

If Mayor Best was accurate what does that say about the due diligence of the owner?

Are campers from Kamp Kanakuk actually boating and conducting other activities in and on Lake Taneycomo near where the Jet Boat will be operating?

Will the Jet Boat have to be going at speeds of between 30-35 miles per hour to get on plane?

To do the 360 degree turn and other thrill maneuvers does the Jet Boat have to be on plane?

Is Kamp Kankuk taking a proactive role in this issue to adequately protect the safety of their campers or will it be reactive?

Is the Jet boat going to operate eight trips per day from between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM?

Should people who are concerned about the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol taking a more proactive role contact the Division Director Captain Matt Waltz at (573) 751-5071 or the Commander of Troop D, Captain Juan O. Villanueva at (417) 895-6868?

How can one company, arbitrarily and without any public input, put the character and nature of Lake Taneycomo, and what it means to the lively hood of its businesses and the peace and enjoyment of property owners, at risk, so they can make a buck, without any public hearing or input?

“Well Seagull, after all, this is the new Branson!” “Got it.”

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