Construction Plans For Crooked Creek Boat Ramp Begins

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Bay County commissioners took time Wednesday morning to clear up some confusion over a proposed boat ramp on Crooked Creek. The move allows county staff to begin drafting plans to build the ramp.

Residents were back at the meeting wearing their yellow "Save Crooked Creek" t-shirts. Once again, they made their case against plans for a new boat ramp on the creek.

"For a boat ramp there, to launch a motorized boat, it's a 25 foot bluff, so the cost factors, the monetary cost factors will be huge,” said Barbara Gudgel. “The cost of what will happen to the environment? It will be a huge devastation to the pristine Crooked Creek."

But commissioners were not moved by the arguments.

"The state's not going to permit anything that's not conducive to the environment that's going to be harmful or dangerous,” said commissioner Guy Tunnell.

Commissioner also say the new ramp will be safer than the current unofficial ramp now in use. While residents agree with that point, they don’t agree with the proposed site.

"The one that's there now is very dangerous,” said commissioner Mike Nelson who made the motion to allow staff to begin drafting plans. “I'm just worried that sooner or later someone's gonna back their truck up with a boat on it and get hit on 388."

"They should make that where people cannot launch their boats there, then people would have to go to the Burnt Mill Creek boat ramp and Buchanan Bridge boat ramp," said Gudgel.

However, commissioners say the plan has been in place for several years.

"This has been a 6 year project and I've brought updates to the county commissioner several times during that six years and asked their permission to move forward with this boat ramp,” said commissioner Mike Thomas. “We hadn't had one complaint up until about a month ago."

In Wednesday’s vote, everyone except commissioner George Gainer voted yes to move ahead with the ramp plans saying he had concerns that more research needed to be done about other ways the money could be spent.

Residents say they will continue looking for another site that’s agreeable to everyone.

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