ST. CLOUD, Fla. — East Lake Toho is already a popular spot for boaters and seaplane operations, and in the future, seaplanes will be able to dock at Lake Front Park.
On Thursday, St. Cloud City Council voted to adopt the 20-year Seaplane Plan that will aid in a roadmap for the city’s development of a seaplane base on East Lake Toho.
“If we can have a stellar lakefront area with restaurants. A river boat, just like Tavares, has one as well. We’re right there, and it gives those folks different areas to go,” said Richard Lawrence, the owner and Captain of Toho Riverboat Adventures.
The closest seaplane docking stations are Jack Brown’s in Winter Haven and the City of Tavares Seaplane Marina.
Site plans will be added to an extension of the current walking dock along the lake where the seaplane will dock, and a lighted wind cone and fuel truck at Lakefront Park will also go.
If more space is needed, Lakefront East, Rummell Road, and the former water plant on the west end of the lake will be considered as possible locations for more seaplane amenities.
Plans are expected to cost around 3 million dollars. The city said the design will put them in the Florida Aviation System, which will make it eligible for state grants.
St. Cloud’s Seaplane Base is included in the Florida Aviation System Plan, making it eligible for state funding.
Boaters that frequent the lake said they are excited to add more people to the waters and that it will bring more tourists to the city, which will benefit economically.
“More people are taking to the skies, you know. Now you got the future of drones and stuff like that this is all the stuff we need to be looking into. Having a seaplane base is a fantastic idea,” said Lawrence.
Although plans are approved, some people feel aircraft on the lake could bring excessive noise to the neighborhood.
“I fish, I don’t need them to fly near me. For example, I’m having a happy day with my child, my daughter. I don’t want it to fly near here,” said Edward Natos, a boater who frequents Lake Toho.
Natos said he doesn’t mind the seaplanes having a docking station but hopes there will be some restrictions and limitations to landing.
“I see them landing on the lake daily. We don’t have any issues with the seaplanes. They’re very quiet, they’re very friendly, so there’s no problem, and all it is, is they’re adding a little dock for the planes,” said Lawrence.
He hopes the seaplane base brings a financial gain in years to come.
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