It’s anchors aweigh for boaters now that the docks at Alum Creek Marina are open.
The $6 million renovation project delayed the season and prevented boaters from putting into their slips until June 21. However, the delay didn’t seem to scare anyone away this season.
“Dock fees were prorated this season,” Mike Bailey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources chief of the Division of Parks and Watercraft, said during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the project.
“We’re at full capacity,” Bailey noted.
Ohio Department Natural Resources Director James J. Zehringer said his agency has spent the last couple of years working to renovate Ohio’s parks. He said there have been many improvements beyond just the docks at Alum Creek.
“We renovated or put in four new bathrooms here at Alum Creek,” he said. “We put in new playground equipment at the beach area because that is important to the kids.”
Bailey said the project was funded by the Waterway Safety Fund which is considered a “user pay and user benefit fund.” He said the fund is comprised of revenue from the state motor fuel tax and fees collected for watercraft titles, registrations, and dock rentals.
Bailey said the new docks allow up to 240 boats with utility access for water, electric, a fuel pump station, and a waste pump station. He said the new docks are much longer than the docks that were replaced.
“The length of these slips are bigger than the old ones,” Bailey said. “The slips are 24, 28, and 32 foot where the old ones were only 20, 22, and 24 foot decks.”
Bailey said the docks aren’t just bigger, but they are also aesthetically pleasing.
“I think people will appreciate the decking,” he said. “The wood is called Ipe. It’s a premium hardwood from South America that has a 30-year lifespan. We did a similar project at Caesar Creek in 2016.”
Both Zehringer and Bailey said all the improvements at Ohio’s parks is because of funds being reserved by the state.
“There’s a lot of things happening at Alum Creek and other parks,” Bailey said. “Thanks to the leadership of our governor and this legislature setting aside $126.5 million for all Ohio parks.”
Bailey said the dock project at Alum Creek is only a “snapshot of what (ODNR) is doing statewide. We’re working hard to get these projects done in our park system,” Bailey said. “Demand for marinas such as these will be strong.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.