Justification requested for boat launch

Rappahannock Record, April 10, 2014

As stewards of taxpayers’ dollars, the Lancaster board of supervisors has the responsibility to spend local as well as state funds wisely. That does not appear to be the case with the proposed Simmons Cove boat ramp.

Lancaster County is willing to spend over $300,000 of taxpayers’ hard-earned money without performing their due diligence by analyzing today’s need for a boat ramp.

Just listing it in the comprehensive plan is not justification. Just because another county has more ramps is not justification.

Every four years for the past 12, a new board has faced this decision, and every four years they defer the question. In 2002, they failed to act on recommendations from an appointed citizen review committee that concentrated on recommending possible sites for a boat ramp.

One can argue the board’s actions were justified because everyone was getting access, and apparently, they are still finding access today.

Where are all the sites that citizens are launching their boats from? Do we even need another access point in the county? What about the three ramps in and around the eastern part of the county open to the public that charge anywhere from $5 to $10 to launch? Should not the many private ramps that serve neighborhoods and larger communities in the eastern part of the county count in an inventory?

Throw in current and possibly new commercial ramps in and around the eastern part of the county and the number goes up even more.

A newly appointed citizen committee should conduct a legitimate needs assessment before the county spends another dime on the ill-conceived boat ramp in Simmons Cove. A study is needed to truly gather the necessary data to deny or support that another boat ramp is justified—not a decision based on someone’s passion.

Mickey Kendrick
White Stone

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