Who stands to benefit most from proposed public ramp?

Rappahannock Record, April 10, 2014

Lancaster County proposes to build a public boat ramp on the headwaters of Dymer Creek. The location is a narrow and very shallow channel in a marshy area. The creek itself contains many sandbars and other obsta- cles.

The bay would be a more than two-mile, twisting and turning ride away. Peaceful Dymer Creek would become a highway for those heading to the bay, resulting in wake damage, noise, and destruction of wetland habitat currently home to eagles, ospreys, oysters and other wildlife.

The logical place for a boat ramp is close to the bay, with deeper water and wider access. The proposed location makes absolutely no sense, yet plans have been drawn up and thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent in secret. Why?

It turns out the location was selected only because a developer has donated the land—but this was not just a benevolent act by a concerned citizen. He also owns large parcels of land nearby that he presumably hopes to develop. Imagine how much more desirable his properties will be with easy access to a new public boat ramp.

So by donating a small piece of land with marginal waterfront access, the developer persuades the county to dredge hundreds of feet of the creek, build and maintain a boat ramp he can use for marketing purposes, and build a new road alongside his property—all at taxpayer expense.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal—for the developer. Not so much for the property owners on Dymer Creek and the other residents of the county, who have been kept in the dark about this process and who will end up paying the price if this misguided proposal goes through.

Randall Eliason
White Stone

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