Naylor Boat Ramp status @ LCC 2018-09-10

The Naylor Boat Ramp should finally be complete within a few weeks, said Project Manager Chad McLeod at Monday’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session. It will be interesting to see what paddlers report back from that site after yesterday’s paddle starting there as part of the Alapaha Quest to paddle in segments the entire Alapaha River Water Trail.

Status of Naylor Boat Ramp by Chad McLeod in LAKE video @ LCC 2018-09-10

What Chad McLeod said Monday morning, 10 September 2018, transcribed from the LAKE video:

The one everybody is asking about: the boat ramp. All clearing was completed in February of the boat ramp area.

From beach entrance, 2018:05:16 11:13:34,, Parking
Photo: John S. Quarterman, From beach entrance, 2018:05:16 11:13:34,, Parking 30.9251600, -83.0392800

When we started that project, the river was too high to complete the actual ramp.

Straight to the drop, 2018:05:16 11:20:49,, Boat Ramp Entrance
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Straight to the drop, 2018:05:16 11:20:49, Boat Ramp Entrance 30.9257700, -83.0394900

So the staff is actually moving back in tomorrow, to actually complete that project. It will take about two weeks to complete the driveway upgrades,

Not driving down that in a Prius, 2018:05:16 11:06:16,, Entrance
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Not driving down that in a Prius, 2018:05:16 11:06:16,, Entrance 30.9241400, -83.0383300

and then we’ll actually start grading the ramp.

And DNR is actually going to help us when we start the actual ramp portion.

Pritchard asked, “Chad, will you explain to them how they are going to do the ramp.”

A: The ramp is actually push-in, what we call a push-in slab. We will pour it on the land, and then push it into the river. Leaving about a foot, two foot, outside that we can tie into. And that actual concrete slab will slide on top of rocks that we grade into the river with a long escalator bucket. And that’s the part DNR is going to help us with: the actual push in part. They have some staff that has done it before and have agreed to help us with that part.

Commissioners had no questions. The boat ramp report starts one minute into this LAKE video:

Naylor Boat Ramp status @ LCC 2018-09-10
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, September 10, 2018.

County Manager Joe Pritchard asked Project Manager Chad McLeod to give an update on “some of the few remaining projects in SPLOST.” This is SPLOST VII, about which the Lowndes County website says:

On November 5, 2013, the voters of Lowndes County approved a seventh round of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) collections. SPLOST VII collections began January 1, 2014 and will end December 31, 2019.

So this is the next-to-last year Lowndes County has to complete the Naylor Boat Ramp, which is one version of what WWALS and many others asked for as an Alapaha River Park back on 18 February 2018 before the Lowndes County Commission voted 26 February 2013 to close the former Lowndes County Alapaha River access at Old State Road. What’s taking so long?

  • Almost five years ago, 5 November 2013, the relevant SPLOST VII line item read:
    • acquisition of property for, construction of, and improvements to parks and recreation facilities, including new soccer facility, Naylor Community Center, boat ramp on Alapaha River, basketball courts at Freedom Park, and baseball field for special needs persons $3,500,000

    There was no further detail in the SPLOST VII ballot referendum, but apparently there was an internal county budget which allocated by far most of the money for purposes other than the boat ramp.

  • More than a year after SPLOST VII was approved by the voters, and three and a half years ago, at the 10 February 2015 Regular Session, the Lowndes County Commission approved engineering plans for the Naylor Boat Ramp and park.
  • Two years on, and three years ago, 8 December 2015, the County Commission approved buying the land for the park and boat ramp from Dr. Acree.
  • Almost three years on, and almost two years ago, 10 October 2016, Chad McLeod reported the county had put the boat ramp out for bids twice, and nobody was willing to bid as low as the county limit, so they were going to do it in-house. The problem is the county didn’t put enough money in the SPLOST VII line item for the boat ramp, or in its internal budget for that line item.
  • Almost five years ago, this week, we finally hear the Naylor Boat Ramp will be completed, apparently this month. That’s a good thing.

Congratulations in advance to Lowndes County for building the Naylor Boat Ramp.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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