Wednesday, March 9, 2016

County seeking comments on boat dock grant

County leaders are hoping third time’s a charm with an application for federal money to build a portable dock at Riverview Park.

For the last two years, a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) grant has been denied to the county to install a floating boat dock at the public recreational area on the Ohio River often referred to as Dam 50. Next week, a public hearing will be held to once again gather comments to include with the grant application to be facilitated by Pennyrile Area Development District.

Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said the fiscal court will be seeking around $44,000 to construct a dock at Riverview Park, which is owned and maintained by the county. It would offer seasonal use as the water level of the river allows. When in place, it would make access to the Ohio River safer and more convenient by giving boaters up to four slips to moor to after offloading or before trailering watercraft.

The public recreational area entertains campers, fishermen, boaters, groups making use of the picnic area and those there to simply enjoy the vista of one of the nation's longest and most historic rivers. Because LWCF is a 50/50 grant matching reimbursement program, the county would be responsible for half of the boat dock’s cost.

Newcom has called the dock an important economic development tool to draw more people to Crittenden County. It would also address safety concerns at the riverside park's boat ramp, where there currently is nowhere to moor a watercraft. The LWCF grant is specifically for upgrading outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

The public forum slated for 9 a.m. March 10 at the courthouse is a required part of the process of the grant application. Those wishing to express their desire for the project are encouraged to attend or submit letters to the judge-executive's office to be included with the final application. Letters and signatures will be accepted as well.

Riverview Park, located at the end of Ky. 387 off Ky. 91 North, was established by Crittenden Fiscal Court in 2008 as a means to revitalize the property at the site of the former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam No. 50, which was removed in 1980. The park is home to six camp sites that offer electricity, restrooms and picnic pavillions and has become a tourist attraction to hundreds of visitors each year.