The City of Key West has certified the results of a three-part referendum that limits cruise ship traffic to Key West. The majority of voters in Key West voted ‘yes’ on November 3rd to approve the 3-proposals that would ban large cruise ships from Key West.
In the Key’s Weekly Publication, a contributor said, “During a pandemic SCS members, without any collaboration, put out a petition to place the referenda on the ballot with no alternative plan in place. There were no public meetings with input from City staff on the impacts from the referenda on our City or input from the City Attorney on potential liability to the City from lawsuits. What you’re not being told is the risks and costs associated with the potential lawsuits. Common sense would tell you the citizens of Key West should know the risks and costs associated with the potential lawsuits before they vote and get stuck with the bill. “
The SCS (Safer Cleaner Ships) spelled out the ballot language and say that 80% of cruise ships in U.S. waters from March 1–July 10 were affected by Covid-19. U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Limiting persons disembarking from cruise ships to a total of 1,500 persons per day.
“The number of persons disembarking from cruise ships shall be limited to a total of not more than 1,500 persons per day at any and all public and privately owned or leased property located within the municipal boundary of the City of Key West.”
Prohibiting cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more persons from disembarking.
“Cruise ships with the capacity to carry 1,300 or more persons (passengers and crew) shall be prohibited from disembarking individuals at any and all public or privately owned or leased property located within the municipal boundary of the City of Key West.”
To give priority to cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.
“The City of Key West shall give preference and priority to cruise ships and cruise lines that have the best environmental record (the lowest number of environmental violations, penalties and fines) and best health record (the best scores and least number of violations in health inspections and reports issued by the Center for Disease Control Vessel Sanitation Program).”
The financial impact on voting these three proposals in, may be felt for some time. Incoming tourists, on cruise ships, equated to $90 million in revenue for the city and over 800 full-time and part-time jobs. These numbers are the average spending and the fees associated with cruise ships entering the Port of Key West, according to the Key West Chamber of Commerce.