Boat ramp takes step forward

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2004

COAL GROVE - Plans to build the Ice Creek Boat Ramp in Coal Grove finally took another step forward as the Village Council approved Tuesday a grant contract for funding of Phase 2.

The village has been waiting to start construction since October 2002, but numerous delays have kept the project at a standstill. The boat ramp would be built near where Ice Creek connects with the Ohio River.

Projected to cost approximately $530,000, the entire project will be paid for with grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. ODNR

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has already awarded the village a $321,000 grant for Phase 1, the grant for Phase 2 is $209,375.

The construction of Phase 1 and 2 will be combined into one bid project. The modified plans should be completed within 30 days, allowing the project to be rebid. Construction on the three-month project should begin some time this spring, said Doug Cade, manager of engineering firm E.L. Robinson's Ironton office.

"The primary reason it has taken so long is that we had extremely high construction prices for the first phase," he said. "It also took a long time to get the permitting through the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers."

The project stalled again in October after bids were more than double what was estimated. Six companies picked up bid packages, but all bids were more than 10 percent higher than the estimated project cost of $266,000. The Righter Construction Company, of Columbus, submitted a bid of $552,615 for Phase 1 alone.

The project was reworked and will be rebid, Cade said.

Under the redesigned plans, Phase 1 includes construction of a two-lane boat ramp, a modified dock layout with handicapped accessibility, a gravel parking lot with 30 boat and trailer spaces and 10 other individual parking spots.

Phase 2 includes 15 overflow parking spots, repairs to the access road that will become an entrance-only avenue and constructing an exit road that will run along the riverbank and connect with Riverside Drive near the main gate, Cade said.

In other business, Council met with Collins Career Center Superintendent Steve Dodgion to discuss the property at 120 Marion Pike where the school operates its Coal Grove campus. The building is owned by Leroy Pauley, but the village owns the land.

Collins is considering purchasing the building but would like to work out an agreement for the property as well. Dodgion said the board is reluctant to purchase the building on leased property.

Council indicated that it would take the request under consideration and talk with village attorney Mark McCown.

Also, Council heard a presentation from representatives for McGinnis Inc. about plans to build a one-of-a-kind synfuel processing plant along the Ohio River. The floating plant would take coal and mix it with a polyvinyl acetate copolymer mixture that increases the BTU of the coal, making it more valuable as a fuel source.

The company has already received an air permit to install from the Ohio EPA.

After hearing the details, Council rescinded an earlier request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a public hearing.