Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Parks department considering regulations for Secret Beach

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TWC News: Parks department considering regulations for Secret Beach
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The stretch of riverbank east of the Longhorn Dam known colloquially as Secret Beach has become a hot spot for Austinites looking to cool off, but safety concerns could put an end to the fun.

Members of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department plan on asking City Council to reinforce a decades-old ban which prohibits swimming between the dam and U.S. 183. Additional language would prohibit the use of floatation devices—including inner tubes—but would still allow the use of kayaks.

Their concern comes from the dam and the dangers that arise when the Lower Colorado River Authority releases water downstream.

The Regante family recently moved to Austin from the Florida Keys. They have read about the city's plans to keep people off of that section of the river.

They say the entire community needs to weigh in before public policy takes effect.

"You have to have a public hearing on it and to see if there are ways for a compromise between the use of the waterway and recreation," Jedd Regante said.

Officials with the Parks and Recreation Department are expected to hand over the revised city code to council for a full vote as early as Oct. 17.

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