City criticized over boat hookups

Chris Dorst
Boats parked at the Haddad Riverfront Park to get a good spot for the Rod Run & Doo Wop car show this week.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- A Charleston man says city officials failed to ensure people who paid to run electricity to their boats would have a spot at Haddad Riverfront Park this week.The riverfront boat docks are first come first serve for this week's Rod Run & Doo Wop car show, City Manager David Molgaard said.Carl McNeely said he paid for a permit to run electricity to his boat during the events. He was told, he said, that the electricity would not be turned on until today, the official start  of the car show.McNeely said he asked the city manager's office if he could arrive early on Sunday to get a prime spot and was told that he couldn't. He was surprised to see a full row of boats parked at Haddad on Tuesday."The city told me I couldn't do what other people are doing," McNeely said.Anyone can park his or her boat at the riverfront anytime, Molgaard said, but electricity is only made available during city-sponsored events. If someone arrived to hook up their boats early, he said, they would be permitted to do so.McNeely said he's worried that he would not find a spot for his boat that would reach an electrical outlet. People running their own generators could block people who paid, he said.
Molgaard said the city would address that issue if it happened. Several people have purchased yearlong licenses to hook up their electricity during events, he said.McNeely said he would park his boat overnight to get a spot.In the past several months, Molgaard said, the city has enforced a rule to discourage boaters from parking at the dock overnight. The city would not be enforcing that rule during the car show, he said. Anyone who applied for an application for electricity is aware that it wouldn't be turned on until today, he said.Still McNeely said he is not happy with the way city officials operate the boat docks. Several of his friends have called him expressing the same views, he said."I planned ahead, asked for permission and did things the right way," he said. "Then other people show up and are just breaking the city's ordinance."Reach Travis Crum at or 304-348-5163. 
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