Frisch takes on Water Taxis

Frisch takes on Water Taxis
Harry Frisch, founder of Beaver Street Fisheries, at the delivery of the 100-passenger water taxi at Sadler Point Marina.

Prominent leader steps up –

In spite of Harry Frisch’s good intentions, the City of Jacksonville doesn’t seem to be any further along with resolving the issue of water taxi service. When the second pontoon boat, seating 100 passengers, was delivered early in July, Frisch came out to Sadler Point Marina to look at his purchases.

He was, in typical fashion, modest about his efforts to keep water transportation alive in downtown Jacksonville.

“I’ll tell you, it’s not [just] helping out the City, it’s helping out myself, my family, my friends, the business and everything in Jacksonville,” he said. “I like to do things that everybody says is impossible. Give it to me.”

Frisch, who came to the United States six decades ago, has a fondness for Jacksonville voiced by many transplants to the area. “I’m here in Jacksonville over 60 years and didn’t have very much when I came here. Jacksonville has been very good to me and it was important to give back.”

He also sees the city’s potential for greatness.

Robbie Cunningham, owner of Trident Pontoons, Harry Frisch  and Ben Frisch of Beaver Street Fisheries, and District 6 Councilman  Matt Schellenberg in front of the 100-passenger water taxi delivered  early last month to Sadler Point Marina.

Robbie Cunningham, owner of Trident Pontoons, Harry Frisch
and Ben Frisch of Beaver Street Fisheries, and District 6 Councilman
Matt Schellenberg in front of the 100-passenger water taxi delivered
early last month to Sadler Point Marina.

“I’m kind of selfish about it,” Frisch stated. “I’m telling you right now, four or five years from now, with the Jaguars and all the other good things that are happening, Jacksonville will be the finest city in the United States. You can take that to the bank.”

He’s a huge supporter of Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and wants to do his part in attracting visitors to the city. “People from the whole world will come to visit us. You have a man there with vision and the money to support it,” Frisch said, speaking of Khan.

When Brooks Busey, owner of Sadler Point Marina, came out to meet Frisch and thank him for his help in keeping the water taxis in Jacksonville, the San Jose/Beauclerc resident shrugged it off.

“Someone had to do it; it was important for Jacksonville. Some logistics didn’t work properly and it was made a big issue when it didn’t need to be. We didn’t want the boats to get away,” Frisch said. “Too bad they weren’t running for Fourth of July, but better late than never.”

This isn’t the first time that Frisch has done something for Jacksonville with little to no expectation of return. When he founded Beaver Street Fisheries, he soon realized that something was missing and did something about it.

“The Farmer’s Market is not a profit for us, but Jacksonville has to have a farmer’s market.”

That is also true of the water taxi service, according to Frisch. “Jacksonville without a water taxi wouldn’t be Jacksonville.”

As of press time, both water taxis were still sitting up on blocks in the boatyard on the Ortega River, awaiting Coast Guard inspection and certification, a temporary operator and a permanent owner. Although it was a sweltering day when Native Choice was delivered, Frisch wanted to see his taxis. “I’m all excited to see them. It’s like a dream come true.”

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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