By Steve Plunkett
Boaters who need a ramp to reach the water will have a special Fourth of July this year — Silver Palm Park’s ramps, off-limits since September, will finally reopen.
And permits to use the ramps, usually $60 and good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, will cost $25 and be valid for this July, August and September.
The City Council approved the rate at its May 24 meeting.
“This will just open the boat ramp and the parking area for the boats,” City Manager Leif Ahnell said. “The rest of the park and the other amenities will not be available. We’re actually still working on Silver Palm Park.”
Ahnell also said neighboring Wildflower Park and the rest of Silver Palm will reopen to the public in September, “hopefully the earlier part of September rather than the later.”
Silver Palm’s boat ramps closed on Sept. 7 for what was planned to be six months to relocate the restrooms, add a new ramp and other construction. But supply issues and an unexpected sea wall replacement slowed the work.
Ahnell said he did not yet know whether the new bathrooms will open when the ramps do.
“All of the Wildflower side but even on Silver Palm, there will be areas blocked off, under construction,” he said. “We as well as the contractor wanted to get the boat ramp opened as quickly as possible.”
The daily use fee for the boat ramps will remain $25. Any resident of Palm Beach County can buy the daily or three-month permit.
Boaters were directed to other ramps in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach while Silver Palm was closed. But Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach had plans to limit access because of their own ramp renovations.
Boca Raton’s construction is part of a multimillion-dollar project to enhance Wildflower/Silver Palm Park with new walkways, green spaces, public art, a pavilion, shade structures, additional parking and a much-anticipated connection between both parks under the Palmetto Park Road bridge.
The parks are separated by Palmetto Park Road on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway.